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Found 12 results
  1. Content Article
    A significant backlog of elective surgical cases has built up during the COVID-19 crisis. The freeze on elective surgery has produced a waiting list that may take years to clear. In the US, the CDC has issued guidelines that "facilities should establish a prioritization policy committee consisting of surgery, anesthesia and nursing leadership to develop a prioritization strategy appropriate to the immediate patient needs". According to the CDC, this committee should work around 'objective priority scoring'. The MeNTS (Medically-Necessary, Time-Sensitive Procedures) instrument is a clever attempt to deliver this scoring, responding to availability of resources and the situation around COVID-19. However, the key challenge is that that the list needs to be prioritised in a way that reflects patient needs and ensures their safety. This is not something that MeNTS can deliver. It also is built around COVID-19 related limitations on resources and this will vary in significance depending on the hospital location and where it is in the journey out of lockdown. The risks of mortality and complications for a patient are a complex combination of the severity of the procedure and the physiological variables of the patient. As an example, a 55-year-old undergoing a radical laproscopic prostatectomy has a risk of mortality of 1.6%. However, if the patient has low blood pressure, that risk triples. If the patient also has low sodium then the risk is 10 times higher [C2-Ai insights]. The spectrum of different operations and key physiological variables creates at least 40 million potential combinations and hence risk. This is hard to manage with one patient but trying to prioritse a group of 5, 10, 100, 1,000 or even 10,000 becomes unmanageable. New patients will be joining the list while others leave following their procedures and so triage of the list will not be a one-off event. The list will need to be populated and triaged intelligently and in a consistent way repeatedly at least until there is a return to ‘normality’. There is evidence that some trusts are attempting to build their own systems for prioritisation. This may be possible around matching operative type and resource availability but the efficiency of these systems overall should be a concern. Best intentions are fine but, when reviewed later, the ability to correctly prioritise patients to minimise harm and mortality is likely to be limited if not flawed. C2-Ai’s COMPASS Surgical List Triage system is an example of a system that can support evidence-based triage and individualised risk assessment of patients, while supporting the objectives of the CDC. It supports clinical decision making across all phases from crisis back to steady state. It has been developed by the creator of the POSSUM system and is built around the world’s largest patient data set (140 million records from 46 countries) through the support of NHS Digital. The underlying algorithms are constantly refined against new and existing data sets to ensure relevance and accuracy. The Surgical List Triage tool combines the mortality and complication risks from the different patients to derive the prioritisation. The system carries out bulk assessments using individualised risk assessments for each patient. These reflect the operative type and their physiology to calculate the risk of mortality and complications, as well as providing a detailed breakdown of potential complications with percentage probability with a simple click. This system also suggests patients that should be reviewed for potential optimisation before any procedure. The physician can click on the link to see the detailed risks for the patient to support their decision making. The system can be used regularly to maintain the logic and integrity of the elective surgical list. This is superior to the potentially fragmented approach where parts of the list are manually considered in isolation as this cannot support effective optimisation of the whole list and the absence of any supporting evidence means the triage will vary enormously. COMPASS SLT is an evidence-based approach that supports optimal ordering of the list and clinical decision making that reduces avoidable harm and mortality. This in turn reduces variation, and cost while freeing bed capacity and also allowing the list to be tackled more quickly. When a patient comes in for the operation, an individual risk-assessment can be done using the COMPASS Pre-Operative Risk Assessment app. This provides a final check on whether the patient’s condition would justify optimising their condition before their procedure. However, it also details the most likely post-procedural complications individualised for the patient and their condition. That allows the treatment pathway to be tailored to that patient as well as recruiting the patient into their own recovery. For example, knowing that chest infection is the highest risk for a patient supports a conversation with them to stress the need for them to get up and about on the day of the operation. As an aside, the risk of mortality and complications can also be used as a strong element in showing informed consent has been obtained from the patient. In combination, these tools can provide a platform to support effective and ongoing triage of the list while reducing harm and unnecessary costs. The systems are currently in use in 12 trusts in the NHS. How are you prioritising waiting lists? We'd be interested to hear and share how you and your trust are dealing with the backlog.
  2. Content Article
    This report teases out the ‘ingredients’ for successful team working at system, organisational, team and individual level. In the COVID-era, multidisciplinary perioperative teams can be at the front and centre of supporting staff to deliver the best possible care. Key messages Our review found that multidisciplinary working is worth prioritising. There is evidence that in some cases multidisciplinary working can: speed access to surgery, if that is an appropriate treatment option improve people’s clinical outcomes, such as reducing complications after surgery reduce the cost of surgical care by helping people leave hospital earlier However, these benefits are not always apparent. More work is needed to explore which types of multidisciplinary working are most effective and what infrastructure and resources are needed to strengthen and sustain multidisciplinary care around the time of surgery.
  3. News Article
    Patients who receive good perioperative care can have fewer complications after surgery, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recovery times, shows a large review of research. The Centre for Perioperative Care, a partnership between the Royal College of Anaesthetists, other medical and nursing royal colleges, and NHS England, reviewed 27 382 articles published between 2000 and 2020 to understand the evidence about perioperative care, eventually focusing on 348 suitable studies. An estimated 10 million or so people have surgery in the NHS in the UK each year, with elective surgery costing £16bn a year. A perioperative approach can increase how prepared and empowered people feel before and after surgery. This can reduce complications and the amount of time that people stay in hospital after surgery, meaning that people feel better sooner and are able to resume their day-to-day life. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 17 September 2020
  4. Content Article
    NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with a number of partners to identify five key principles which can help ensure that patients are discharged in a safe, appropriate and timely way. The five principles relate to different stages of a patient’s stay: some to the moment of admission, some to their time on a ward and some to the end of their stay. Plan for discharge from the start Involve patients and their families in discharge decisions Establish systems and processes for frail people Embed multidisciplinary team reviews Encourage a supported ‘Home First’ approach The 'Where Best Next?' website lists specific actions for each principle and provides links to useful resources.
  5. Content Article
    Here is the FRAS tool I implemented: Fire risk assessment tool.pdf Other useful resources I found: Scoring_Fire_Risk-2.pdf Surgical Site Fire Triangle.pdf Surgical_Fire_Poster (1).pdf Video: Fire hazard demo by Zaamin Hussain and Mike Reed Demonstration: "Burning Bruce" drives home the reality of surgical fires - article in Outpatient Surgery
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