Recap: 4 Trends at 2014 AORN Conference

 We just finished up at this year's Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses Surgical & Conference Expo, held in Chicago from March 29-April 2. With thousands of attendees, hundreds of exhibits, and five days of informative sessions led by industry experts, we caught a glimpse of what’s top on the list in healthcare, and more specifically, operating rooms across the country. 


In case you missed it, here are four trends (out of many others) affecting operating rooms that were key themes at the gathering: 

1. Technology is the future. No suprirse here. Technology is getting extremely sophisticated (read about Keith Siddell's "The Future of Google Glass: Half Empty or Half Full?"), but it will be interesting to see where hospitals draw the line between vital and excessive. It was also interesting to hear how some hospitals are taking advantage of mobile technology to improve collaboration in the OR. Marion McCall, BBA, RN, CNOR, CPHIMS, led a really interesting session centered on key steps for developing a mobile management plan (read about her key steps for developing a mobile management plan here).

2. Setting a schedule. With cost-cutting pressures continuing to mount, there was much discussion about streamlining block scheduling in order to save money and build a smoother-running operating room. Jamie L. Sanchez-Anderson, MSN, MBA, RN and others led a session about developing new innovative visual tools, such as surgeon scorecards and monthly dashboards. She identified block utilization, first case on-time starts and turnover time as the most important OR performance metrics to measure on a continual basis. If you want a jump start on your measurement efforts, we can help by providing a free review of 20 key measures

3. Innovation is a double-edged sword. 3-D imaging, Google Glass, robotic seems technology is infiltrating every aspect of the operating room. But is this innovation truly improving patient care? Sir Stephen, JD, MSD, MEF, stressed that innovation often involves a specific mindset centered around collaboration and constant improvement. He recommended operating room teams dedicate time for reflection after each operating session and ask themselves - "How could we have been safer, more effective, or more compassionate?" 

4. Safety first. In an attempt to cut costs, some facilities may feel pressure to cut corners and risk patient safety. Kerry M. Johnson, MS, founding partner and chief innovation officer of HPI, addressed these pressures and spoke about achieving a "reliability culture" to prevent failures. Johnson's 6 key points for creating a reliable and safe culture can be found in Monday's conference newsletter found here.

You can see more conference highlights or register for next year's conference held in Denver, Colorado (we will be there!) by visiting AORN's website.

Kevin O'HaraComment