Reducing the Occurrence of Sepsis through Operating Room Efficiencies

A hospital operating room is one of the most important rooms in a hospital. Hospitals always strive to increase Operating Room Efficiencies because it helps increase the overall efficiency of the hospital. There are tools that exist that help hospitals optimize activity and data flow in the operating room. For example, an operating room dashboard is a data-rich tool that helps clinicians and administrators make the right call on allocating valuable resources in an operating room. This tool also helps to identify efficiency improvements. When a surgical case is delayed in an OR, every other case of the day is plagued by this delay. So ensuring the first case of the day to be dealt with in an operating room starts on time is one way to improve operating room efficiencies. Ne of the top reasons that could cause the first (and subsequent) delays in an OR is lack of timely and comprehensive data about each of the surgeries scheduled. An automated workflow dashboard like we earlier mentioned is a tool that could improve visibility to this information in and out of Mission’s operating rooms.

In a hospital environment, many different individuals have to use the resources available in and for the operating room and these resources are always limited and to embrace the use of an analytical OR dashboard, all must be committed to data-driven decision-making as opposed to just fighting for the resources. There needs to exist, an evidence-based culture in the organization that’s accepted by employees. The healthcare organization would need to educate and encourage people, at all levels, on the use and value of data automation and actionable information to make better care and operational decisions.

 

Improving Outcomes in Sepsis Patients Post-Operation

 

Sepsis is something that usually happens to patients who have just undergone an operation. It is a serious problem that can affect anyone and hospitals work towards reducing it and also reducing post-OR sepsis.  Breaking the discussion down is one way to best approach the topic of reducing the occurrence of sepsis in healthcare organizations.

 

What causes Sepsis

Sepsis is any kind of infection that takes over and overwhelms the body causing life-threatening or other harmful reactions.  Because sepsis is pretty much any type of infection in any part of the body, you are looking at trying to control a whole host of problematic items.  Most sepsis patients have infections such as blood poisoning, urinary tract infection, and infections in the lungs leading to pneumonia or similar problems.  Unfortunately, many patients develop sepsis when under the care of a medical professional while in a hospital or right after undergoing an operation. Postoperative sepsis happens after an operation. It is an infection after surgery can cause sepsis. This could be an infection of the incision, the opening in the skin, or an infection that develops after the surgery, such as pneumonia or a UTI. A lot of times this is due to poor hygiene practices from the healthcare professionals.  It is never intentional, but setting up new practices and standards within a healthcare facility and increasing operating room efficiencies will help lessen the number of cases of sepsis that occur.

Who is most susceptible to Sepsis

 

This may sound like a broken record when it comes to those that are the most susceptible, but the list includes:

 

  • Those with weakened immune system
  • Babies and young children
  • Elderly individuals
  • Chronically ill individuals

 

Those with vulnerable or compromised health systems are prone to sepsis because their bodies aren’t able to fight infections as well and the infection can spread throughout the body causing more problems.  Talking to a doctor about the possibility of acquiring sepsis may be a conversation that some individuals should have, and being aware of symptoms can be key to taking a proactive stance rather than playing catch-up after sepsis has taken ahold.

 

How is Sepsis Treated

 

Sepsis is very serious and due to the fact that it can affect so many parts of the body, plus the fact that it can spread rapidly, it is necessary to treat it in the hospital.  Most patients start off with a round of antibiotics as soon as possible. This may include broad-spectrum antibiotics but change to a specific antibiotic that attacks specifically what is infected.  IV fluids are administered to help with blood pressure stabilization and also allows for quicker administration of drugs as needed.

 

Depending upon specific requirements of patients, insulin may be given to support blood sugar levels.  Corticosteroids may be administered to help regulate the activity of the immune system so that it doesn’t eventually shut down due to overactivity.  Oxygen may be supplied to aid in keeping the body as well supplied as possible. Painkillers may also be necessary as one of the symptoms includes extreme bodily pain.

 

On the extreme end of treatment, it may be necessary for some individuals to receive dialysis because their kidneys have shut down and are unable to clean the blood effectively.  Other patients may require surgery to remove damaged tissue or the actual source of the infection. These are all efforts that are made in going towards improving the outcome of sepsis patients.

 

Reducing Sepsis Through Operating Room Efficiencies

 

Healthy and hygienic conditions also go a long way to preventing the acquisition of sepsis.  Obviously, there are countries that struggle much more than western civilized countries to provide clean and sanitary conditions when treating patients, however, this doesn’t mean that third world countries are the only ones with sepsis problems in healthcare.  Medical professionals have many demands and many patients to see. It can be as simple as forgetting to wash their hands before checking on another patient that can spread infections from one patient to another. This can cause sepsis in patients that have lowered immune systems. And this can be prevented by improving operating room efficiencies.

 

Sometimes things are unavoidable due to so many outside agents.  However, this is not an excuse not to first be aware of sepsis and secondly learn more about it, especially if you are in the hospital for any reason.  Medical professionals are improving outcomes in sepsis patients wherever and whenever possible. So, whenever possible, patients need to understand what is going on, and be the first line of defense.