An opportunity to update and consolidate practice guidelines, based on current best practice literature, was identified in a large county hospital system. The team expressed the desire to assure the guidelines were based on current evidence, standardized between facilities, and more accessible and manageable for OR staff. A team comprised of clinical nurses, nurse educators, and nurse leaders was formed. Current practices were observed, staff nurse expert opinions were solicited, current literature was appraised for best practice recommendations, and strategies to update and innovate access to standards were brainstormed. A position statement was adopted, recognizing perioperative standards and recommended practices, current year, as foundational to practice. OR practice guidelines were revised and reference lists were updated to reflect current best practice recommendations. Multi-user access to perioperative standards and recommended practices and guidelines were provided to nurses online. Consensus was reached for the use of OR practice guidelines to guide practice and online access was provided. The number of approved guidelines for perioperative services was decreased from 56 to 16. Periodic review of OR practice guidelines is beneficial to avoid redundancy and an excess of information for nurses to navigate. Clinical leaders should routinely assess and improve their facilityís procedural guidelines with the goal of revising, innovating, and staying current with annually published standards.
Ann From, MSN, CNOR
Clinical Nurse Educator, Ben Taub General Hospital, Houston, Texas