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Advancing patient safety in laparoscopy

As the advanced technology coordinator at Gwinnett Hospital System in Lawrenceville, Georgia, I have responsibility for evaluating new technology as well as the maintenance of Gwinnett's laparoscopic service. This service has grown considerably over the last 15 years. One of the most difficult challenges is assessing our service lines in order to maintain cost with an emphasis on quality care and patient outcomes. The seriousness of the issue of stray electrosurgical burns convinced me that Gwinnett should take a proactive stance in ensuring patient safety during laparoscopic monopolar electrosurgical procedures.


In this article, I will explain why Gwinnett made the decision to implement active electrode monitoring and how we did it. In sharing this information, I hope that perioperative nurses will come to see the issue of stray electrosurgical burns as I do — an unacceptable risk to patient safety that we, as patient advocates, must actively take up in our hospitals.

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Advancing patient safety in laparoscopy

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