Don't Blow Your C.A.P.S.

Fairbanks Memorial Hospital (Fairbanks, Alaska)

CSI Summary

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CSI Presentation

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CSI Toolkit

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Added to Collection

Project Topic

Reducing surgical supply waste – cost analysis and projected savings (CAPS)

Hospital Unit

Surgery (gynecology specialty)

CSI Participants

Susan Johnson, RN
Char Le, Surgical Technologist

Project Goals/Objectives

  1. To educate nurses and surgical technicians on the cost of wasted items
  2. To increase accuracy of surgery case supply usage documentation
  3. To reduce the amount of supplies wasted

Project Outcomes

  1. Increased proper documentation of supply usage by nursing staff and surgical technicians
  2. Increased staff concern about unnecessary surgical waste
  3. These outcomes resulted in an estimated annual fiscal impact of $16,824.

Project Overview

When considering a project for our CSI program, our team decided we wanted to do something that benefited both our facility and the community. This thinking led us to the major concern of excess cost in the operating room, especially the cost of wasted surgical supplies.

We first addressed the issue by educating staff about the cost of surgical items. Then we implemented a simple yet effect self-audit sheet for tracking supply use. As our project progressed, we noticed that staff, including physicians, were more conscious about the cost of surgical items. This led to a change in culture where items were being held until needed instead of opened at the beginning of the case.

Although our efforts didn’t result in the amount of savings we had projected, we hope to extend our education and self-auditing practice into the orthopedic and/or general surgery specialties. Once we identify which specialty has the largest case load, most case consistency, and most physician cooperation, we will begin doing our audits and data collection.

Permission to Reuse Materials
The materials associated with this AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy project are the property of the participating hospital noted above, not AACN. Requests to use content contained in the CSI team’s summary, presentation or toolkit should be directed to the hospital. We suggest reaching out to the hospital’s Communications, Marketing or Nursing Education department for assistance.

The AACN CSI Academy program supports change projects based on quality improvement methods. Although CSI teams seek to ensure linkage between their project and clinical/fiscal outcomes, data cannot be solely attributed to the project and are estimations of impact.