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Archive December 2019 XX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: Unfriendly Reminder

Wasting Meds Is Frowned Upon

North Valley Surgery Center
IN YOUR FACE It's easy to ignore or miss an email or text, but a strategically placed paper flyer is tough to avoid.

Sometimes you need to go old-school to get a key point across to your staff. We recently updated our periarticular injection cocktail as part of a multimodal pain management protocol for our total joint patients. I dutifully updated the surgeons’ preference cards and sent out emails and texts to the OR staff notifying them of the change, but the message still wasn’t totally getting through. This particular communication problem was significant to our facility’s bottom line, because mixing the wrong cocktail and then wasting it cost us around $400 each time. To avoid mixing mistakes, I created a paper flyer that listed the medications, syringe and needle needed to make the cocktail and noted when it would be injected during the case. I titled the flyer “No More Wasted Cocktails” and included pictures of various disappointed people and pets. What really made the flyer a hit — and more noticed — was that one of our surgeons provided a photo of himself with his trademark “I’m disappointed in you” look. I strategically posted the flyer in high-traffic areas, including the surgery schedule board, pharmacy, locker room and break room. The result? No more wasted cocktails bleeding our margins dry.

Andrea Lessner, BSN, RN, CNOR, TNCC
North Valley Surgery Center
Scottsdale, Ariz.

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