Archive August 2018 XIX, No. 8

Ideas That Work: Turnover

Don't Clean Until the Patient Leaves the Room

RESIST THE URGE In the quest to start the next case as soon as possible, it's tempting to start the turnover process while the patient is still in the room.

Does your turnover team empty the trash or remove dirty linens while patients are still in the OR? Not only is this practice distracting to the providers caring for the patient, but it's also the perfect setting for cross-contamination. I've seen nurses gathering dirty instruments in carts to take to central sterile while the anesthesia tech is setting up for the next patient in the still-dirty room. Even if surgeons are pressuring your turnover team to work quickly, they shouldn't enter the room until the patient is wheeled out of the OR. Your policy should state that environmental cleaning should occur after each patient, but not until the patient has left the area — whether it be the OR, procedure room, pre-op or PACU — per the 2018 edition of AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.

Libby Chinnes, RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC
IC Solutions
Mount Pleasant, S.C.

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