1. Petersen, Carol RN, BSN, MAOM, CNORAORN, Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses

Article Content

The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses Inc (AORN Inc) is a professional organization of 41 000 perioperative registered nurses. Membership in the AORN is composed of registered nurses in the management, teaching and practice of perioperative nursing, and perioperative research and perioperative nurses who work in related business and industry sectors. The mission of AORN is to promote safety and optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures by providing practice support and professional development opportunities to perioperative nurses. The AORN supports the efforts of nursing informatics professionals in improving the delivery of patient care through the perioperative specialty assembly, education, standards and recommended practices, the perioperative nursing dataset (PNDS) and the development of the standardized perioperative record (SPR). A key to improving patient care is the ability to collect reliable data for analysis and research through the use of standardized vocabulary.


Two major initiatives have been undertaken by AORN to enhance perioperative nurses' electronic access to clinical support tools: (1) to digitize the recommended practices and create an electronic content management system and (2) to develop an SPR and data repository. These initiatives are interrelated and share a common PNDS database. Individual recommendations are tagged with the appropriate PNDS intervention, thus creating a link between the recommended practices and PNDS. The connection between PNDS and recommended practices enhances evidence-based practice. Incorporating standardized nomenclature such as PNDS in documentation provides the vehicle for data mining methods that in turn hold the promise of uncovering new clinical relationships. As the evidence for practice is derived from research, it in turn drives the creation of AORN recommended practices.


To gather reliable information about the effectiveness of interventions on patient care outcomes, a standardized method of documentation is required. The AORN PNDS is an ANA-recognized and controlled nursing language developed as a tool for documenting and reporting information in a consistent manner. The PNDS, when appropriately integrated into patient care documentation, provides a means of gathering reliable data used to uncover new clinical relationships and actualize nursing's influence on health outcomes. Although PNDS is uniquely designed for electronic patient care documentation, it is part of a much larger and more sophisticated picture of healthcare information technology. Although PNDS provides a standardized vocabulary for clinical care, other relevant health systems data should also be documented in a consistent manner. A standardized perioperative record including both clinical and nonclinical data is needed for reporting and benchmarking.


Although the standards and recommended practices provide the foundation for guiding patient care, the PNDS provides the means for documenting that care. The PNDS forms the foundation for the SPR that incorporates all of the data elements represented in a complete perioperative record. It is intended to support a centralized database for the following purposes:


* Measure outcome data and monitor and evaluate quality and effectiveness of care, evaluate resource utilization, and benchmark activities


* Assist in the examination of the relationship of cost to quality and effectiveness


* Provide valid clinical data for decision making and policy formulation


* Benefit the healthcare and software vendor industry


* Meet reporting requirements


* Contribute to patient safety



The potential benefit from using a standardized method for documenting care in an electronic healthcare system is to transform patient care by improving safety, effectiveness, timeliness, and efficiency. Although there are multiple benefits to implementing PNDS and the SPR, the foremost important benefit is to help perioperative nurses deliver safe patient care.



As more nurses use and implement electronic health records in a variety of clinical settings, they can expand their informatics knowledge at the 2009 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition from April 4 to 8, 2009, at McCormick Place in Chicago.


The conference offers high-quality, targeted programming designed by and for nurses, such as the Nursing Informatics Symposium, one of several symposia offered at HIMSS09. Actor Dennis Quaid opens the conference on Sunday, April 5, 2009, with his keynote session, "Dennis Quaid and the Quaid Foundation Story." Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, started their foundation to promote patient safety after their twins, Thomas and Zoe, received an overdose of the blood thinner heparin while in the hospital recovering from an infection.


The conference symposium, "Leaders Optimizing Healthcare Outcomes through Informatics," gives attendees an insight into the multifaceted leadership roles of the nurse informaticist. One of the most popular and well-attended educational events at the conference, the Nursing Informatics Symposium brings together more than 400 nurses from across the globe to hear from experts on the following topics:


* Process innovation through work redesign


* Realization of outcomes from EMR adoption


* Role of chief nursing informatics officer versus chief nursing officer


* Prevention of never events and more



Co-chairs of the event are Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Vice President for informatics, HIMSS, and Mimi Hassett, MS, RN, FHIMSS, Independent Informatics Consultant.


For nurses new to informatics, the half-day Prenursing Informatics Symposium on Friday afternoon, April 3, 2009, provides foundational concepts of nursing informatics from 1pm to 4:30pm CDT at McCormick Place. This session is free to those who register for the full-day Nursing Informatics Symposium on Saturday, April 4, from 8am to 5pm CDT. Cost for this session is $275. Continuing education credits will be awarded. On Saturday afternoon, attendees can select sessions from one of two tracks: "Optimizing Workflow Through Process Improvement" or "Driving Metrics Through Data Optimization." The recipient of the 2009 Nursing Informatics Leadership Award will be announced on Saturday, and a closing keynote presenter will offer an insightful and actionable summary of the symposium's topics.


Visit to learn more about nursing informatics and other symposia offered at HIMSS09. Register for the conference at on the HIMSS Web site.


Hotels are expected to fill up quickly, so make hotel reservations early through Ambassadors, HIMSS' official housing and travel bureau. Contact Ambassadors at or call 877-517-3038.


Join 25 000+ colleagues at the biggest healthcare IT event to be held in the "City of Big Shoulders."