Graduate Publications and Other Selected Works - Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Document Type



Patient Temperature measurement postoperatively reveals that hypothermia occurs in surgical patients 25-90% of the time. Unintended perioperative hypothermia can be linked to many negative patient outcomes such as increased incidence of surgical site infection (SSI), delayed wound healing and increased length of hospital stay, to mention a few. Any single or combination of the aforementioned issues can eventually lead to an increase in patient morbidity and mortality. The purpose of this proposed quality practice improvement project is to increase the compliance of hypothermia prevention strategies, specifically forced air warming, at the implementation site. The targeted practice improvement is aimed at increased compliance in warming preoperatively as well as intraoperatively. Education for perioperative staff will be rolled out on three separate occasions over three months. Education will be informal in the means of a physical take home reference card to serve as a reminder of current best protocol practices. The guiding framework of the project is based on the Model for Improvement utilizing Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) Cycles, which will propel the project forward as development, planning, and implementation take place. Another model used in synergy with the aforementioned, is Lewin's three step model for successful change, which will ensure that change is accepted and becomes a part of the culture at the implementation site. The aim of this project is for ≥80% of colorectal surgery patients to maintain a median core target temperature above 36 degrees Celsius three months post implementation.

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