12.13 webinar LP

Reducing Risk Amongst Your Perioperative Staff With Annual Competencies

December 19, 2022
December 19, 2022

This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Reducing Risk Amongst Your Perioperative Staff With Annual Competencies.” The webinar was moderated by HealthStream’s Allison Keys and featured:

  • Colleen Becker, PhD, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, Director of Perioperative Education, AORN
  • Kyle Haack, Solution Executive, HealthStream.

HealthStream has an exclusive partnership with the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to provide AORN’s entire surgical portfolio which is offered through HealthStream’s learning platform.

Supporting Career-Long Growth for Your Perioperative Staff

Haack began by summarizing AORN’s perioperative annual competency assessment. The program is the result of a collaboration between HealthStream and AORN. “It was designed to equip organizations with the ability to quickly and accurately evaluate perioperative competence on an ongoing basis,” said Haack. The program uses a blended learning approach that tests knowledge and verifies practice for high-risk areas in the OR. Whether it is a case of malignant hyperthermia or a fire in the OR, you can help prepare your staff to confidently respond to these and other situations.

Competencies – Why They Matter

Becker addressed the importance of competency. Simply put, the perioperative team is the most valuable asset in the perioperative space to provide care for patients. “Competencies allow you to provide a definition to the expected level of performance along with the integration of knowledge, skill, ability and sound clinical judgement,” said Becker. Becker went on to share that this definition comes from the American Nurses Association who view competencies as essential to the continued growth and development of nurses, teams and the profession itself.

In addition, competencies are important to organizations that are pursuing magnet status and/or have clinical ladders in place. Focusing on competency helps to establish that the organization is focused on and committed to preparing nurses with strong clinical skills along with a dedication to safety and quality.

Preparing for 2023 Competencies

It may be easy to see why competencies are important, but how can nurses best be prepared for these annual competencies? Throughout the year, AORN reviews and revises competencies to ensure that the theory is solidly grounded in the Donna Wright model for the education and development of a team member including such aspects of development as ownership, empowerment and accountability. AORN obtained feedback from learners, members, and other teams and departments to ensure that the competencies are really representative of what hospitals, departments and nurses truly need.

Becker shared that the competencies found in the AORN database are regularly reviewed to ensure that they represent the most prevalent clinical issues. She also shared that learner requests may also inform the development of competencies. The competencies are then reviewed in light of guidance from updated polices, guidelines and other resources.

The competency education is also customizable to the pace of individual learners so that they can learn and process information at a pace and in a way that is comfortable and effective for them. Moving forward, AORN will also be incorporating education on diversity, equity, and inclusion for both patients and team members.

Promoting Safety Through Remediation and Checklists

Haack provided an overview of the solution. It begins with knowledge-based assessments to help guide improvement. The assessment includes a 25-question test and a corresponding digital skills verification checklist. “The checklists are designed to remediate any knowledge gaps identified by the knowledge assessment,” said Haack. Team members are provided with a breakdown of correct and incorrect answers and are then directed to the appropriate section in the checklist for remediation.  In addition, users can customize the solution by providing links to additional documents, annotating existing documents and tailoring checklists to reflect the unique requirements of each organization.

Becker also pointed out that the solution can quickly point users to up-to-date competencies as AORN has been diligently updating competencies based on current guidance and have cross-walked each element of the competency with the very latest guidelines.