Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Wendy Hochreiter


retained surgical items, patient safety, sharp injury, procedural area, supply counts, sharp counts


To improve safety in procedural areas, a Midwest hospital piloted supply and sharps counts to reduce both sharp injuries and patient retained supplies. Supply counts are a standard of practice for decades within surgical-operational departments. Despite improved standards within surgical-operational departments, safety measures within procedure areas are limited. With current recommendations for sharp and supply counts and reported sharp injuries in the procedural area, the need to develop and implement a supply count and sharp containment policy was evident. A four-week doctoral project was implemented within the electrophysiology studies (EP) procedural area. EP staff reported using non-standardized techniques to count sharps and supplies, documentation varied, and tracking by leadership was not consistent. Eighty-one EP studies were performed during the project, with a 100% documentation compliance rate. The estimated cost of a sharp injury is $71 to $5,000, depending on the treatment required. There were 13 reported sharp injuries from 2016-2018. Zero sharp injuries were reported during the project, saving an estimated $923 to $65,000 from the previous two years of sharp reporting. Although the procedural area had no record of retained items, the cost savings are estimated at $166,000 per incident. Implementation of a supply count and sharp containment process allows for policy development, best practice education, potential cost savings, and increased patient and staff safety. To ensure sustainability, leadership was encouraged to be involved during the project and internal staff were educated as superusers. Through quality improvement efforts, the procedural area is at the forefront of current evidence-based practice that is generalizable to other procedural areas.

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Nursing Commons



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