November 14, 2018

2019 OR Business Management Conference sets up shop in San Diego

By: Elizabeth Wood

San Diego welcomes 2019 OR Business Management Conference attendees.

Interest in the OR Business Management Conference has grown steadily in tandem with the number of proposals submitted each year. More than 400 individuals attended the conference in 2018, and they left with tools and strategies to implement in a variety of clinical settings upon their return.

Feedback from attendees included comments such as, “excellent session with lots of simple yet impactful ideas” and “all speakers were engaging and extremely knowledgeable.” This is the kind of experience all attendees should have, and speakers slated for the 2019 conference are preparing to deliver high-quality presentations with practical solutions to everyday problems.


What’s ahead?

The 2019 conference will include two preconference workshops as well as more than 50 speakers in breakout sessions who will address the complex challenges facing today’s perioperative services directors and business managers. The conference will be held January 27-30 in San Diego.

The program committee, co-chaired by Paul Rhodes, RN, CSSM, and Mary Lou Jones, BSN, reviewed more than 115 proposals to build a program with sessions related finance and analytics, leadership, performance improvement/quality, and supply management. Rhodes, a consultant, is past director, business operations at Scottsdale Shea Medical Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jones is business manager at Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix.

In addition to Rhodes and Jones, the program committee burgeoned to 13 members who selected presentations to help attendees master everything from budgeting, inventory management, and cost-saving initiatives to culture change and building partnerships.


Preconference workshops

“Leveraging data” is a phrase commonly applied to the business world, but how exactly does that work in perioperative services? A team from Mercy Hospital will explain how this concept relates to OR profitability, new service lines, contracts, and the supply chain during a preconference workshop, “Slice and Dice Data to Improve Patient Outcomes.” Nancy Pakieser, senior director of industry development at TECSYS, Inc, will moderate this lively, interactive workshop during which participants can explore how to apply the Mercy experience in their own facilities.

Thanks to a new partnership between OR Manager and the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) in Denver, attendees can prepare to take the Certified Surgical Services Manager (CSSM) exam during a second preconference workshop, “CSSM® Exam Prep.”

CSSM certification validates the achievement of the baccalaureate-prepared manager who demonstrates proficiency as a leader in the perioperative setting. Attendees will be eligible for 6 contact hours of continuing nursing education upon successful completion of the workshop.

Both preconference workshops will be held from 2 pm to 5 pm on January 27. Attendees may add a preconference workshop to their full conference registration or register to attend just the preconference workshop.


Working smarter

The 2019 opening keynote address, “Business Intelligence—The Intersection of Analytics and Operations,” will set the tone for the conference, which aims to offer an enriching experience and help attendees improve their performance. David Wyatt, MPH, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, associate operating officer/associate nursing officer at Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinics in Nashville, Tennessee, is a past presenter at the annual OR Manager Conference and the OR Business Management Conference. He will explain how to ask the right questions to get the information that is needed for more effective decision making.

Other keynote speakers will likewise deliver forward-thinking messages. Emerging trends in patient care, especially the move toward surgeries done in ambulatory settings, will be addressed by Jeffry Peters, MBA, chief executive officer of Surgical Directions, a consulting company based in Chicago.

Judith Pins, MBA, RN, president of Pfiedler Education, a healthcare education company based in Denver, will discuss disruptive innovations and what skills are needed to create innovative solutions. And to further inspire attendees to embrace innovation, Michael Karl, mentalist and author of Influence Your Audience, will demonstrate how thinking differently can enhance everyday problem solving.


A great getaway

In addition to the robust formal education offered at the 2019 OR Business Management Conference, attendees can enjoy informal networking breaks and a chance to catch up with colleagues in the evenings.

The conference will take place at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, an ideal location for enjoying waterfront restaurants or nearby shops and restaurants in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Seaworld San Diego, and numerous ethnic neighborhoods—to name just some of the options—may be a good reason to extend your visit and soak up some California sun in mid-winter.

For more information and to register, go to

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