At the annual conference of Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), which took place March 30 – April 2, 2014, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) presented eight key points to improve patient safety and health outcomes.
Three of the most commonly overlooked clinical points are:
- Verify hand–off or transition of care from nurse-to–nurse that continuous electronic monitoring is in place, has been maintained and double-checked.
- Double check PCA dosing, pump parameters, and continuous monitor settings.
- Include in the post-operative orders daily lead changes and hands off communication on lead changes to decrease nuisance alarms.
Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONCC (Clinical Nurse Consultant for PPAHS), who represented PPAHS at the AORN conference, says that the tremendous interest shown by AORN nurses in the PPAHS presentation shows how important is the proper management and monitoring of patients receiving opioids. Ms. Razzano recounts what conference attendees told her about the vital need to order continuous electronic monitoring:
“Perioperative nurses emphasized to me that they should be the identified patient advocate for safety and ensure all patients receiving opioids are ordered continuous electronic monitoring. Although perioperative pace is hectic and there is tremendous pressure to conduct quick operating room turnover, perioperative nurses can never forget that their commit to the patient does not end following surgery. Following surgery, the post-operative order for continuous electronic monitoring should be made for all patients receiving opioids.”
The eight key clinical relevant points were contained in poster presentation #29 entitled, “First National Survey of Patient –Controlled Analgesia Practices: Results and Implications for Standards, Nursing Assessment and Patient Safety”. Please click here to view a PDF of the handout of the PPAHS poster.