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Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Share information effectively to improve the performance of your ASC BY ANN SHIMEK, RN, CASC


Famed playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest prob- lem in communication is the illusion that it has


taken place.” ASCs should consider those words carefully. According


to the Journal of


Patient Safety, there are 210,000– 444,000 preventable medical errors that contribute to patient deaths a year in America. This means that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US behind heart disease and cancer. The major cause of those errors involves failure to communi- cate effectively. During my presentation “Commu- nication in the ASC” during ASCA 2015 at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, May 13–16, I will discuss how to communicate effec- tively with employees, physicians, patients and family members and how to help all those members of your ASC’s team to communicate more effectively with each other. For starters, I will talk about com- munication between caregivers and implementation of the SBAR (situ- ation, background, assessment and recommendation) communication model. SBAR can improve commu- nication between health care workers. It can be especially effective during transitions of care between the oper- ating room (OR) and the post-anes- thesia care unit (PACU) nurses, or between preoperative and OR nurses. It also is an effective tool to use to update physicians about the status of their patients.


12 ASC FOCUS JANUARY 2015


According to the Journal of Patient Safety, there are 210,000–444,000 preventable medical errors that contribute to patient deaths a year in America. . . . The major cause of those errors involves failure to communicate effectively.”


— Ann Shimek, RN, CASC, USPI


Next, I will discuss communica- tions with patients and family mem- bers. As caregivers, we need to make sure that we are providing the care that is important to each patient. One way to facilitate that process is to utilize a patient care card. When a preoperative nurse in an ASC calls patients, he or she asks what is impor- tant to those patients during their stay at the ASC. The patients might say that they would like their family to be kept in the loop at all times, or that they would like to be kept warm. The nurse then writes that informa-


The advice and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion.


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