204 - Got Sponge? Increasing Compliance in Use of the RF Machine
Description: The retained surgical sponge (RSI) continues to be an issue that plagues operating rooms. The addition of technology, such as radio-frequency (RF) tagged sponges, has aided departments. This hospital bought tagged sponges and an RF machine and added them to all of the operating rooms. After the addition of the RF machines and sponges, the utilization rate was less than 5%. The evening charge nurse created a performance improvement (PI) project to increase compliance in using the RF machine. A literature review was done, and an education assessment was done with the OR staff. It was decided to continue with the project, which was divided into 6 separate steps. Re-education of all team members, including surgeons, was done. The use of the RF machine was tracked on every surgical case. Praise was given to all of the nurses who had more than 90% utilization of the RF, with the addition of a brag board in the department. Each nurse who was not using the machine was counseled regarding importance of machine. The outcome was an increase in the compliance rate of the use of the RF machine from 4% of all surgical cases to 95% within 3 months. An RSI has serious implications for patients, staff, and the department. Creating compliance in the use of a new piece of equipment is making patients safer.