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Working in an OR means taking risks every day with the safety of the patients and other staff members. There is virtually no part of working in the OR that doesn’t require some precautions to ensure that everyone doesn’t become injured or infected in the course of a day. This Surgical Products supplement on Patient Staff & Safety is designed to give some tips and ideas to OR staff on making the workplace a little safer, because even though you’re holding the life of someone else in your hands, you shouldn’t have to risk your own to make it through the day.

Safety Collaboration
With patient safety being such an overwhelming area for improvement, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced this month a surgical patient safety collaboration to prevent surgical site infections and other adverse outcomes. The purpose of the alliance is the desire to sustain and strengthen quality healthcare by combining expertise and organizational resources in tracking, reporting and preventing surgical site infections (SSIs) and other adverse outcomes among surgical patients.

The ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) and the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Health Care Quality Promotion (DHQP), will form a working group to jointly develop and maintain measures of SSIs and infectious and noninfectious complications that affect surgical patients. The work group will build upon the portfolio of SSI measures developed jointly by ACS and CDC in 2010 for abdominal hysterectomy and colon operations. These measures are now in place as part of Medicare quality reporting programs.

A key objective of the new ACS-CDC collaboration is to harmonize and maintain the ACS NSQIP and CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definitions, data requirements, and technical specifications in a manner that will allow data transfers from ACS NSQIP to NHSN, yet still maintain the individuality of each reporting system. Furthermore, ACS and CDC will explore ways to maximize the use of electronic health records (EHRs) for collecting and submitting standard SSI measure data and other data to aggregating systems, namely ACS NSQIP and CDC’s NHSN.

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