March 02, 2018
ASA Participates in Surgical Attire Roundtable
On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, Jeffrey Plagenhoef, M.D., FASA, ASA immediate past president, Lois Connolly, M.D., FASA, chair of the ASA Committee on Quality Management & Departmental Administration, and Matthew Popovich, Ph.D., ASA director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, participated in a Surgical Attire Roundtable hosted by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in Chicago. Representatives from ACS, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Joint Commission participated in the discussion.
Physician anesthesiologists have expressed concern with the evidentiary support for the AORN Guideline on Surgical Attire and how close adherence to the guideline locally has interrupted their workflows and communication with colleagues. The goal of this meeting was to begin conversations into reviewing data and literature, leading to greater opportunities for ASA and others to contribute to AORN guideline revisions and updates later this year.
Evidentiary support centered around patient safety and decreasing surgical site infection as well as personal protective devices for all who work in the operating/procedural room environment. Topics of concern included porosity and hat effectiveness, effectiveness of masks, bare below elbows for all providers in the surgical arena, and other operating room attire issues.
Although details cannot be confirmed this early, it is reasonable to expect that the most contentious areas in the existing guidelines may be edited.
ASA looks forward to future discussions between all stakeholders in developing a common pathway forward. Communication between specialty societies will lead to the implementation of guidelines that are evidence-based, a greater emphasis on alleviating regulatory burden and the continued protection of patient safety and the delivery of quality care.