Decreasing the Length of Stay in Phase I Postanesthesia Care Unit: An Evidence-Based Approach

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Patient length of stay (LOS) in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) Phase I and Phase II influences patient throughput, staff nurse satisfaction, and financial expenditure. The purpose of this project was to determine if re-education of nursing staff would decrease the LOS in Phase I PACU. The goals of the leadership team were to implement a plan that would result in a decreased LOS, decreased financial expenditure, increased patient throughput, and a change in culture of the work environment. Methods included re-education of nursing staff on American Society of Perianesthesia Nursing (ASPAN) Standards for patient care in Phase I and Phase II PACU. In addition, a pre-survey of the nurses was completed to determine their knowledge of the ASPAN Standards and how they perceived their work environment. Data were collected on the LOS in Phase I for two groups of patients who underwent cystoscopy with stent implantation and hernia repair. The LOS data were collected before and after the staff education. Results of this re-education initiative revealed improved patient throughput, decreased operating room hold time, reduced perioperative expenditure, and an increase in staff nurse satisfaction. An unanticipated result was increased scores on patient satisfaction surveys after the educational initiative.

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