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AORN Survey Explores Return to Pre-COVID-19 Surgical Volumes

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) today announced survey results of more than 1000 surgical nurse leaders in the United States regarding how their facilities are managing the resumption of elective surgeries. The survey results are intended to help medical device manufacturers understand their customers’ pace and product needs as ORs ramp up their efforts to return to full surgical volume. With this information, industry can plan their manufacturing of supplies to support budget assumptions and accurately focus their business resources.

The 20-page report, Perioperative Leaders on Returning to Surgery, compiles input from surgical nurse leaders from academic medical centers, hospitals, and free-standing ambulatory surgery centers. U.S. facilities, according to estimates of the CovidSurge Collaborative, must accommodate the postponement of more than 4 million surgeries that were canceled over a six-week period while they begin meeting new demand.

AORN’s CEO/Executive Director, Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC FAAN, said “We conducted the survey to give industry a tool that would help them prepare to meet facilities’ service requirements both during the ramp up and then during their return to full volume. Facility types, specialties, OR capacity, and COVID-19 constraints will all influence industry’s decision making. Our bottom line is patient and healthcare worker safety and that depends on industry’s understanding of facilities’ needs.”

Key Findings

  • The top three specialties ramping up in volume are: general, ortho non-joint, and urology. Current case volumes are lowest for transplants, plastics, ophthalmology and ENT.
  • Patient fear continues to drive a high volume of canceled surgeries. Over half of respondents say that up to 40% of patients have canceled elective surgeries.
  • ASCs have the lowest rate of patient cancellations, followed by hospitals and academic medical centers.
  • 93% of respondents listed a target date of when they will return to pre-COVID-19 surgical volumes.
  • Among the several key constraints noted by respondents, COVID-19 testing is often cited because it can take 24 to 48 hours for results.

The complete report covers facility types and regions, COVID-19 testing insights, capacity forecasts by specialty, limiting factors, target dates for reaching pre-COVID-19 volumes by specialty and facility types, and more. It also includes valuable free-text observations from the nurse leaders who participated in the survey.

More information on the report including how to order can be found here.



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