September 6, 2022

Editor’s pick: 10 tools for perioperative leadership success

Editor's Note

Any leadership position in a modern perioperative leadership department requires a nurse who is skilled at making business decisions that promote patient and staff safety and quality care. The skill set is always evolving and requires constant reforming and fine tuning. This job involves not only leadership and management, but compliance, supply chain, staffing, and more.

Perioperative leaders work with physician groups, administration, and other key departments for assuring quality patient care, often for both ambulatory and inpatient patient populations. Some of the tools necessary in order to be a successful leader include but are not limited to:

Improve Strategize Approach
OR Manager Subscription Maintain and continue growing a network with other leaders.

Career Assessment

Coaching to manage career and develop leadership skillset to oversee a department that is in compliance with industry standards.
  • Focus on building resilience and nurturing good mental health, especially in the current nursing climate.
  • Utilize career coaches and services of HR Department.
Risk Management Assessment Adjunct technology to prevent Retained Surgical Items (RSI), the number one occurring surgical error.
  • Involve staff and surgeons on practices to minimize RSI events.
  • View the OR Manager RSI Series here.
Smoke Free Department Mandatory regulations on compliance and smoke free initiatives.
  • Take it to OR committee for surgeon buy-in.
  • Form volunteer staff committee to implement actions for a smoke free department.
Staff Certifications Research certifications for CPD staff, Surgical Techs, RN, and Managers.
  • Research shows that certification prompts staff members to be more knowledgeable and practice more safely, generating higher patient satisfaction.
  • This would require working with several different certification boards.
Scheduling Revise block schedule and increase operating room utilization. Extensive networking with physicians and their office staff.
Daily Electronic Updates Check with Risk Management regarding staff using personal cell phones to complete hospital business.
  • Develop policies and procedures for the use of electronic equipment.
  • Assure compliance is adhered to.
  • Purchase encrypted electronic communication system for the department.
Build New Hybrid / Interventional Suite Convene committee with key players involved in purchase of equipment, software, etc.
  • Develop policies and procedures for this suite.
  • Reassure compliance standards are met.
Staffing Considerations Until positions can be filled, negotiate good contracts with travelers and interim contacts.
  • Look at staff retention strategies for current staff (eg, view OR Manager articles on staffing and retention here).
  • Work with HR on recruitment for open positions.
Sterile Processing Department (SPD) Upgrade Develop action plan to improve service delivery and increase staff satisfaction. Multifaceted:
  • Check on latest trends in industry.
  • Invest in education program to prepare staff for certification.
  • Do internal study on flow between OR and SPD.


These tools can benefit industry veterans and new perioperative leaders. Now more than ever is the time to assess strategies, identify areas of improvement, and try new approaches to promote patient and staff safety and quality care. Gain even more tools and insight for perioperative leadership success during the OR Manager Conference, October 17-19, in Denver, CO. For more targeted business management strategies, attend the 2023 OR Business Management Conference, February 6-8, in Savannah, GA.


Join our community

Learn More
Video Spotlight
Live chat by BoldChat