Perioperative Noise Reduction

Roy H. Constantine  PA-C, MPH, PhD, FCCM, DFAAPA

Daniel Vetrosky, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA

Former CSPS Representatives and Chair

Article originally printed in Sutureline: May/Jun 2015 pp. 11-12

Prudent usage of cellphones and electronic devices is emphasized in the health care safety literature. ECRI describes the growing use of devices in the general and public care areas. In the ECRI study, hospital policies on cell phones and smartphones were found to be fairly strong for lounge, waiting areas and general areas; moderate for the emergency department; and not as strong for the perioperative environment and critical care units.


In many facilities smartphone ownership is allowed to the extent that the facility will purchase the device and / or allow personal devices to be utilized. We use these devices to review resources, to interact with the electronic health record or to review patient data. It is recommended that a reasonable and thoughtful approach to the use of devices be planned. The belief that the use of cell phones could disrupt the operation of a medical device still exists. Costly security breaches, patient privacy and infection control are also important concerns.

Members of the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) have worked on developing a cognitive aid that addresses the “Risk of Noise and Distraction in the PeriOperative areas. Please review the Press Release and Available Poster.


ECRI Institute. Getting the Message: Results of Our Survey on Cell Phone / Smartphone Policies, (April 01,2013).



Contact: Katie Fitzgerald, CSPS, (312) 202-5700, [email protected],

Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) Endorses Perioperative Noise Reduction Resource

Chicago, IL (May 1, 2015): The Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) endorses a safe surgery resource chart to reduce the risk of noise and distraction in the perioperative period. The chart emphasizes attention to the elements of noise and distraction, infection control, and privacy.


In the chart, CSPS recommends a multidisciplinary team approach to reduce the level of noise and create a safer environment for patients. It stresses that noise takes away from the silence team members may need to perform operations safely. It also warns that the use of cellular phones and accessories can cause distraction and bacterial contamination, which may compromise a sterile perioperative environment. Lastly, the chart recommends that each hospital’s policy should determine if it is appropriate to take and transmit photos of patients.

Roy Constantine, CSPS Treasurer, said the group developed the chart to raise awareness about noise and distractions after reviewing recommendations from its member organizations. “We're asking everyone to be prudent lest a bad event occur to patients and staff as a result of a distraction,” he said. CSPS encourages all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and procedural areas to use the chart— which can be downloaded from the group’s website at–as a cognitive aid to enhance awareness and promote best practice.

The Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) is an incorporated multidisciplinary coalition of professional organizations whose members are involved in the care of surgical patients. Member organizations are the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants (AASPA), American College of Surgeons (ACS), American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN), Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and Association of Surgical Technologists (AST).