Saint Luke’s East Hospital Earns National Recognition for Safety in Surgery

March 28, 2019

Lee’s Summit, Mo. — Saint Luke’s East Hospital announced today that it has earned the Go Clear Gold Award™ for its achievement in eliminating hazardous smoke from its surgical procedures. The Go Clear Award is presented by the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to recognize health care facilities that have committed to providing increased surgical patient and health care worker safety by implementing practices that eliminate smoke caused by the use of lasers and electrosurgery devices during surgery. Saint Luke’s East Hospital earned its award by undergoing comprehensive surgical smoke education and testing and for providing the medical devices and resources necessary to evacuate surgical smoke during all smoke-generating procedures.

Smoke plumes are created in operating rooms when surgeons use lasers or other electrosurgical devices to cut through or cauterize tissue. Not only does the smoke smell bad, but it also can be harmful for the patients and medical staff who inhale it. Earning the designation requires at least 90 percent compliance with set standards in surgical smoke education, testing and use of smoke evacuation equipment during surgical procedures.

The hospital’s Go Clear Gold designation was a collaborative effort between the OR staff, surgeons, and leadership, according to Susie Krug, Saint Luke’s East Chief Nursing Officer. “We are one of 31 hospitals in the country and the only in the region to meet this standard,” Krug said. “As a hospital we are focused on doing the right thing for our patients and staff. This is a testament to our commitment beyond meeting regulatory requirements.”

“Total evacuation needs to become the standard for all procedures that generate surgical smoke,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, CEO/Executive Director of AORN. “With this award, Saint Luke’s East is demonstrating its deep commitment to the health and safety of its staff and community.”


e/locations/saint-lukes-east-hospital is a facility in Saint Luke's Health System, which consists of 18 area hospitals and several primary and specialty care practices, and provides a range of inpatient, outpatient, and home care services. Founded as a faith-based, not-for-profit organization, our mission includes a commitment to the highest levels of excellence in health care and the advancement of medical research and education. The health system is an aligned organization in which the physicians and hospitals assume responsibility for enhancing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of people in the metropolitan Kansas City area and the surrounding region.

About Mission: AORN
AORN represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses by providing nursing education, standards, and practice resources—including the peer-reviewed, monthly publication AORN Journal—to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s 40,000 registered nurse members manage, teach, and practice perioperative nursing, are enrolled in nursing education or are engaged in perioperative research.