High patient satisfaction scores and excellent multidisciplinary teamwork are the hallmarks of a well-managed surgical services department, and Sharon Udy-Janczuk, MSN, RN, CNOR, NE-BC, the 2018 OR Manager of the Year, has bragging rights to both. By cross-training staff in the presurgical care area, OR, and postanesthesia care unit (PACU), she has contributed to building a “one team” model that has netted Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction scores of 95% or higher since 2017, according to Vicky Tilton, senior director of perioperative services at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware.
Udy-Janczuk is director of perioperative services and oversees a 140-member staff in a pediatric surgical service that averages about 50 cases per day.
This achievement is the culmination of a long-time vision, Udy-Janczuk told OR Manager. She has been with Nemours for 15 years, and she saw a need to eliminate silos and steady a ship that was listing from management turnover. As the nurse manager of the OR and with support from the chief nurse and senior nursing leadership, she proposed adding oversight of the presurgical care area and the PACU to her duties. Doing so has improved communication and collaboration across departments, and she was recently promoted to director of perioperative services.
Adopting Lean methods has led to several process improvements, Udy-Janczuk says. For example, four daily huddles allow information to flow through each area of perioperative services to a house-wide patient care huddle in the space of a few hours.
Additional Lean initiatives include reducing patient preoperative visits through collaborative assessments the day of surgery and elevating the skill set of the presurgical care nurses to check in patients so as to afford the circulating nurses the opportunity to focus on OR preparations. Many nurses in the presurgical care area and the PACU are cross-trained to both areas to readily flex between the two units in supporting check-in and recovery of patients experiencing shorter ENT procedures.
Persistence, perseverance, and patience are the three characteristics of her leadership style, Udy-Janczuk says. “I don’t give up easily—if something doesn’t work well initially, I want to consider alternatives and try again. For example, when we rolled out our first continuous improvement initiative in the OR, it wasn’t successful, but we tried again.
“If a team is struggling to understand a concept, it may be because I haven’t communicated it well. Sometimes it is necessary to explain concepts in a variety of ways through multiple venues to ensure effective communication and understanding,” she says.
“Sharon’s eloquence and ability to communicate with the team and her colleagues is exemplary,” Tilton says. “Sharon is very caring, and every decision is based upon the care delivery impact to the patient as well as safety and doing what is right per regulations, guidelines, and recommended practice.”
Other colleagues echo those sentiments. Dee Tinley-Strong, PhD, MA, notes the ways in which Sharon has strengthened continuity of care and patient safety. Among her accomplishments:
• decrease in nursing needle sticks and exposures
• decrease in turnover times and cost per case
• collaboration with sterile processing to achieve and maintain a 0.02% error rate
• enhancing patient and family education and preparation for surgery.
“Sharon ‘gets it’ when it comes to a vision of how a staff should integrate around the care of the patient rather than the usual lines of demarcation that separate standard job roles,” says Al Dorsey, MD, medical director, perioperative services, department of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine. “Sharon primarily holds herself accountable and leads by example.”
Udy-Janczuk is pursuing a Doctor of Education, Organizational Leadership, Learning, and Innovation even as she takes on more responsibility and strives for continual improvement at Nemours. She hopes to graduate in early 2019. ✥