Jamestown Regional Medical Center, a recognized leader in patient safety and quality care, is the first facility in North Dakota to implement a policy that ensures all its operating rooms are free of the smoke created by surgical instruments. The move puts JRMC ahead of regulations signed into law in neighboring Minnesota, which will prohibit all operating room smoke across the state beginning Jan. 1, 2025.

Over 150 hazardous chemicals have been identified in surgical smoke . This essential new measure protects patients and perioperative staff from any potential risks related to exposure to surgical smoke.

“While the research on the risks of surgical smoke is still evolving, we want to do everything in our power to safeguard those in our care,” stated Mike Delfs, JRMC President & CEO. “Going smoke-free aligns with our dedication to leading with science and pursuing the highest standards of clinical excellence.”

By becoming the first medical center in North Dakota to enact this smoke-free policy in operating rooms, JRMC reinforces its commitment to delivering care in the safest environment possible. The medical center looks forward to continuing its record of innovation in clinical quality and patient outcomes.

“We commend Minnesota for taking steps to safeguard public health on a broader scale,” added Trisha Jungels, JRMC Chief Nursing Officer. “At JRMC, our priority is the well-being of each patient and team member. This new policy allows us to uphold that pledge with the utmost vigilance.”

Transitioning to a smoke-free environment required minimal financial investment. JRMC’s existing suction and ventilation system was equipped with the appropriate attachments to allow the medical center to immediately begin the safe evacuation of smoke and fumes from operating rooms.

“Implementing smoke-free operating rooms matches our responsibility to provide high quality and safe care,” Rhea Miller, JRMC Surgical Center Manager. “We strive to utilize evidence-based practices and the latest technology to protect our patients and staff. Converting to smoke-free surgery is important to improve health and safety.”

Healthcare facilities in 15 states are now required by law to remove surgical smoke plumes. About ten state legislatures discuss these laws each year and five states have passed them in the last two years. Six more states are reviewing similar bills. However, North Dakota has not introduced comparable legislation on these issues.