Archive January 2018 XIX, No. 1

Ideas That Work: Visual Aid

Wheeled Count Boards Reduce Risk of Retained Objects

Wheeled Whiteboard

Put your count boards on wheels so staff can place them where they can be easily seen throughout the case and pushed out of the way as needed. The downside of hanging count boards on OR walls is that staff can't see them from all areas of the room during the numerous equipment configurations we use for different procedures.

We used letter stickers and black art tape to standardize the format of the boards. We designated areas for staff to note the counts of sponges, instruments and tools, and we left blank spaces at the bottom of the board where they can mark the counts of objects unique to a particular case. Cover each board with a clear plastic overlay so staff don't scuff the formatting when repeatedly marking down and erasing counts.

Janelle Anderson, MSN, RN
Mercy Medical Center
Baltimore, Md.

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