Archive January 2018 XIX, No. 1

Ideas That Work: Manual Communication

Sign Language Limits OR Traffic

Sign Language

Our staff members sign questions that they used to open the OR door to ask. As we all know, the more times an OR door swings open during surgery, the higher the risk of surgical site infection. We came up with a simple solution to minimize OR traffic: sign language.

First, we identified the most common questions staff members asked when they entered ORs for nonessential reasons: Do you need help? Do you need a break? Are you ready to take lunch? Next, we trained staff on how to ask the questions using sign language, as you can see in the photos above. Now they communicate with the surgical team through windows in OR doors instead of walking through the doors themselves. Our surgeons are pleased with fewer interruptions.

Cera Salamone, BSN, RN, PHN, CNOR, NE-BC, OCN, HACP
Eisenhower Medical Center
Rancho Mirage, Calif.

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