New OR Managers

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February 2018
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New staffing schedule unclogs PACU bottleneck

Perioperative services is a key driver for financial performance, and efficient use of space and staffing is vital in the current era of declining reimbursement. A bottleneck in any of the three phases of surgery—pre-, intra-, and postoperative—can result in long delays as well as surgeon, anesthesiologist, and staff anxiety…

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By: Judith M. Mathais, MA, RN
May 17, 2017
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START makes a good case for greater scheduling accuracy

Accurate OR case scheduling is a key performance indicator that is challenging to manage. The published literature often focuses on scheduling algorithms using historical data, the surgeon’s own estimate, or a mix of similar procedures. This mathematical approach neglects the cultural, economic, behavioral, and process challenges that impact attempts to…

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By: OR Manager
May 17, 2017
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Choose the right linen service to match supply with demand

Linens and textiles may not be as exciting as the latest spinal device or miracle drug, but they are a mainstay of every healthcare setting. Quality matters, and costs associated with these high-use items can make a difference in a facility’s overall expenses. It’s essential to evaluate the best way…

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By: Paula DeJohn
May 17, 2017
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Innovation: The path to superior OR teamwork and results

Healthcare lags behind other industries when it comes to innovation. That’s partly because new treatments must be vetted for safety and efficacy, and partly because fee-for-service reimbursement sparked little incentive for creativity and efficiency. Under value-based purchasing, OR leaders have more opportunity to be innovative, but first they must understand…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
April 21, 2017
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OR utilization improves with data gleaned from software program

One of the biggest challenges for OR managers is efficient use of OR blocks. OR managers struggle to balance revenue and utilization targets with surgeon and staff preferences. The result is underutilized OR time, unnecessary costs, and dissatisfied staff. “Let’s face it, our block allocation process isn’t very efficient,” says…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
April 21, 2017
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Evidence-based practice supports adopting ERAS protocols

As part of the shift to value-based care, a logical step for healthcare organizations is to adopt enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols. The literature supporting the use of ERAS is growing, with many studies demonstrating that it leads to shorter length of stay (LOS) and fewer complications. Results of…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 21, 2017
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Turnover times improve with multiphase approach

Major changes at a facility such as reorganizing service lines or adding new ORs can be highly disruptive, cutting into productivity and potentially loss of revenue. What can OR managers do to avoid this situation? At Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, OR leaders were facing several simultaneous challenges: planning…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
April 21, 2017
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ASC reaps rewards of recycling and reprocessing

What began as an employee request to reduce waste and create a “greener” workplace has resulted in an international award for TRIA Orthopedic Center, Bloomington, Minnesota. By conserving materials and energy, the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) not only reduced its environmental impact, but also saved money. The initiative started with…

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By: Paula DeJohn
April 21, 2017
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OR leader job analysis helps sort out roles, responsibilities

A new tool is available to help OR leaders both develop their careers and prepare their successors to take over when they leave. An OR manager job analysis, released in September 2016, provides an evidence-based approach to building the careers of OR leaders, both novice and experienced. “It really helps…

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By: Cynthia Saver
March 16, 2017
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Hospital-academia partnerships steer new nurses to the OR

Traditionally, nursing students have had little exposure to the perioperative setting, creating a challenge for OR leaders seeking to build the future workforce. How can they spark interest in the OR, if students haven’t experienced it? One way is for hospitals to partner with schools of nursing. Two innovative programs…

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By: OR Manager
March 16, 2017
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