Lloyd Schanzer, Lorraine Alderson, Alex Lomas, Alan Willetts
Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, United Kingdom
Introduction: Dehydration is harmful. Optimising hydration preoperatively improves patient outcomes and experience. There is much evidence that clear fluids are absorbed within 30 minutes.
“Sip til Send” is an exciting project developed by colleagues in Scotland. With permission, we adopted, adapted and implemented this in Plymouth. We describe how we shared this practice with colleagues, used technology innovatively and introduced a simple change across the multidisciplinary team to improve the care we offer to patients, thousands of patients!
Methods: Using data collected electronically at “Sign in”, we performed an audit of fasting in adult patients having elective surgery. We hosted patient focus groups to gain a deeper understanding of patient perspectives and barriers to effective hydration. Presenting these findings at our anaesthetics department meeting stimulated robust discussions and enabled a strategic steer. This was agreed with the surgical care group director before hosting interactive presentations in all theatre complexes within the trust. Colleagues designed posters and digital images to share as part of the rollout of “Sip til Send”.
Results: In the initial survey of 675 elective patients, 83% of were fluid fasted > 2 hours, 50% hadn’t had a drink > 6 hours. Patients highlighted issues regarding information and accessibility to drinks. A consensus for patients to sip water, but not tea/coffee, until the point of sending to theatre was agreed.
Conclusions: Sharing practice across departments, specialties and regions to make change is simple, smart and successful!