Monday, May 16, 2011

Standardization with Attention to Outliers

There's no question that standardization can and will decrease potential harm to our patients. We hear about it through The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, other national forums and locally in each of our hospitals. Certainly, these should be scientifically driven. This morning, during one of our physician led surgical meetings, we discussed generic incision care instructions and further opportunities to standardize. We referenced the current literature and key areas where we need to tailor the instructions to each patient, outside of any standard protocol.

As we reviewed best practices for incision care, someone shared a case they heard about where a post surgical infection took place because the patient allowed his cat to lick his surgical incision. Sure, a drastic outlier however a reason to ensure we tailor instructions accordingly and discuss potential concerns with all patients.

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