A Clinical Evaluation of the Cost and Time Effectiveness of the ASPAN Hypothermia Guideline

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It is known that perioperative hypothermia increases the cost of care and places surgical patients at increased risk for adverse outcomes. The American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) developed the Clinical Guideline for the Prevention of Unplanned Perioperative Hypothermia to specify a systematic approach to the maintenance of normothermia in surgical patients, making use of newer active warming technologies as well as passive warming techniques. The purpose of this study was to test the cost and time effectiveness of the ASPAN Hypothermia Guideline as compared with usual care. Our findings indicate that the Hypothermia Guideline, which is known to employ practices effective for maintaining normothermia, is clinically feasible and can be implemented without significant increases in cost or time for an ambulatory surgical unit.

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