Setting the standard: The role of ACORN. Part II: Counting, the gold standard to prevent the inadvertent retention of surgical items or is it?
This is the second paper that presents the results of research about the role and effectiveness of ACORN. The first paper, published inthe last edition of the ACORN journal 1 presented the data about the role of ACORN, which demonstrated the significance of the ACORNstandards. The majority of respondents, who were perioperative nurse managers and former or current ACORN Board members, believedthe standards had a positive effect on nursing practice and patient outcomes, and were the benchmark for perioperative nursingpractice. Although most respondents professed the value of the standards, occasionally their beliefs were tempered by a number ofother issues that emerged from the data about standards. The opinions of a minority of respondents contrasted with the beliefs of mostof them; however, these 'minority' opinions were revealing, too.This paper focuses on the results of analysis of the data collected about the ACORN counting standard 2. These were in Part E of the NUMquestionnaire (NUM Q) 3. This part sought to ascertain if the ACORN counting standard was used to inform counting practices in therespondents' operating suites, and if respondents believed it prevented the inadvertent retention of a surgical item. Also elicited wasinformation on how respondents reported and dealt with cases of incorrect counts and missing surgical items.
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