Enhancing the profession to ensure quality patient care.
AST Headquarters will be closed Monday, January 20, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will resume regular business hours on Tuesday, January 21 at 8 am MT.
Here you will find timely news of note relating to the surgical arena.
With private companies pushing the way for more space
exploration, longer space missions will continue to be a focus in the future.
Scientific American looks at what it will take for astronauts and future
travelers to have more than just routine care aboard long-duration flights. Due
to the elements the human body is exposed to in space, travelers and planners
will need to know how to “tackle the uncertainties pertaining to mechanisms,
presentation and severity of pathology, but also the extreme limitations in
diagnostic and treatment capabilities available on board a spacecraft.”
The rising costs of surgery in the United States combined
with a lack of insurance is prompting more individuals to seek out procedures
in other countries. This rise in medical tourism has even prompted the Joint
Commission International (JCI) to establish guidelines for international
facilities, with other groups also stepping up efforts to implement guidelines
Despite the risks, the American Journal of Medicine
estimated that 1.4 million Americans chose to proceed with surgeries in foreign
countries in 2017. For most of these individuals, a lack of insurance and a
cost reduction of as much as 65% was enough to people to cross the border.
A couple was distressed to learn that their unborn child was
diagnosed with birth defects. However, doctors in Dallas saw an opportunity to
intervene and prevent further injury to the babies’ organs.
A study issued by the National Academy of Sciences,
Engineering and Medicine found that cannabis and cannabis-derived products
could reduce a patient’s post-operative pain.
The study performed in 2017 found that opioid users
preferred cannabinoids and found them to be just as effective or even more
effective then the prescription drugs. It also found that users also reported
more tolerable side effects.
However, there are obstacles for the use of cannabinoids for
pain management as marijuana remains illegal under federal law and state laws
vary. Another downside is the price as the marijuana industry is a cash-only,
no-insurance business prompting patients to pay out of pocket.
Hospitals nationwide are starting to look at how the first
ase of the day can greatly affect the rest of the day’s cases and their bottom
line. All it takes is a few minutes to throw the day off schedule resulting in
a domino effect and major surgery delays.
A medical center in Pennsylvania implemented a new system
that utilized technology to identify each department’s process flow in order to
decrease start times. Although it took a year, they finally reached 100% start
times in May 2018. Other hospitals also have implemented delay codes to track,
analyze and improve their surgical departments start times.
A Case Cart Assessment Checklist (CCAC) was created to
identify instruments missing from case carts. The CCAC combined with a Needs
List process helped to reduce first-case instrument delays by 36% from a
five-month time period in 2017.