Understanding ThermalX and the SCIP intiative:
SCIP (SURGICAL CARE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT) guidelines, as detailed in the Specifications Manual for National Hospital Quality Measures published jointly by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission, are designed to improve surgical outcomes.
SCIP-Infection-10 relates to maintaining patients’ core temperatures within the range of normal. Research shows a significant reduction in post-operative infections when patients are kept warm.
Current SCIP standards provide the basis for payment rates for general acute care hospitals that are paid for inpatient services under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System effective for discharges beginning October 1, 2009. SCIP-Inf-10 applies to patient temperature management.
The standard measures the percentage of patients for “whom either active warming was used intraoperatively for the purpose of maintaining normothermia or who had at least one body temperature equal to or greater than 96.8°F (36.0°C) recorded within the 30 minutes immediately prior to or the 15 minutes immediately after anesthesia end time.”
The optimal approach to perioperative temperature management is to prevent patients from ever becoming hypothermic, which starts in the pre-op area and continues during surgery and PACU. There are different patient warming modalities that can be used in each setting to help keep patients normothermic. Patients in whom normothermia has been maintained during the intraoperative period experience fewer adverse outcomes with a resulting decrease in costs.¹ Intraoperative thermoregulation leads to quicker extubations, reduced post-op bleeding, decreased transfusions and shorter ICU and hospital stays.
In 2008 Medicare began refusing payment for many hospital-acquired infections. To improve outcomes, SCIP requires warming almost all surgical patients.
Preventing hypothermia – keeping a surgical patient or injured person warm – can literally be a matter of life or death. Studies show that hypothermic patients have an increased risk of infection and other serious complications. Now, with ThermalX, there is a simple solution to hypothermia.
ThermalX is based on technology pioneered by NASA. It works by reflecting back the body’s own heat to help prevent cooling. ThermalX also prevents convective heat loss (wind chill). It’s lightweight, durable, and comfortable for the patient. Wrap a piece of ThermalX around your hand and within moments feel the warmth building.
Medical facilities and Emergency Medical Services are constantly battling the clinical implications of hypothermia and its adverse effects on patient recovery, outcomes, and the cost of treatment. When the body is kept at a normal temperature range (97.9°F-99.5°F) throughout all perioperative phases, it’s better able to fight infection. Surgical site infections remain one of the most common and serious complications of surgery.
Many hospitals are evaluating their product mix and its role in reducing the negative consequences of hypothermia, including infections in surgical patients, as part of the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP).
Since it requires no electricity and no maintenance, ThermalX is cost effective and versatile. It is available in a wide range of products, including blankets, caps, patient gowns, and jackets.
ThermalX can augment a hospital or surgery centers current patient warming products and can help to fill in the gaps especially during transport, pre-op and post-op. As soon as the patient is ready to move to the OR, ThermalX can start to retain and prevent patient heat loss and, in the PACU, ThermalX can help to keep the patient normothermic and exit PACU as soon as possible.
ThermalX is an economical and proven patient warming product that can help a hospital or surgery center to meet the SCIP-Inf-10 initiatives.
Popular ThermalX products include the following:
Medium Blanket 48×48 (Pediatric)
Large Blanket 48×84 (Adult)
Adjustable Leg Warmers
Medium Jacket, Green with Silver Arms
Large Jacket, All Silver
X-Large Jacket, All Silver
Kit, 4’x7′ Blanket with Adult Cap