Productivity

Latest Issue of OR Manager
April 2019

'Coming clean' in the SPD requires collaboration and competency--Part 1

Contaminated surgical instruments made ECRI Institute’s 2019 annual top 10 list of health technology hazards, coming in at number five: “Mishandling flexible endoscopes after disinfection can lead to patient infections.” Number two on the list in 2018 was “Endoscope reprocessing failures continue to expose patients to infection risk.” It’s not…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
March 15, 2019
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Study: Outcomes with overlapping surgery

Editor's Note This study from a large academic medical center finds that the practice of overlapping surgery does not expose patients to increased risk of negative outcomes. Data on operative procedures from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, were used to compare…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 11, 2019
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Policy compliance essential for overlapping surgery safety

Flipping rooms, or running two ORs back to back, is common in many perioperative services departments. Certain rules of thumb can help ensure efficiency and good outcomes, but sometimes those rules either don’t exist or are unclear. Does your facility have guidelines for overlapping surgery, and do your surgical teams…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
December 13, 2018
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New structure puts SPD staff on firmer footing

Perioperative leaders, including those in the sterile processing department (SPD), need to know when to make sweeping—not just incremental—changes to improve workflow and optimize the talents of their staff. Sometimes gains in productivity and staff satisfaction depend not only on identifying process improvements but also on placing staff in areas…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
December 13, 2018
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Block schedule best practices: Calculate, allocate, and regulate

A common strategy for managing OR utilization is block scheduling: Assigning surgical time to individual surgeons or surgeon groups based on their volume. But what sounds like a simple process is often complicated by the potential for dissatisfaction and reduced utilization. Yet done effectively, block scheduling can significantly boost the…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
November 14, 2018
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Room utilization rises with dynamic block scheduling

Inefficiencies in surgical case scheduling can lead to large revenue losses. When leaders at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (SHMC) in Spokane, Washington, realized poor room utilization was the cause of more than $1 million in annual overtime costs, they knew that better planning was needed. “For every 60 minutes…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
November 14, 2018
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Value stream redesign: The cornerstone of excellent patient care

Many healthcare organizations have adopted Lean processes to save money, improve workflow, and reduce waste. But it’s not just process change that drives success. It’s the individuals—especially those on the front lines—who work together to identify problems and solutions. It’s also ongoing efforts to sustain changes once they have been…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
October 18, 2018
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Study: Lean methods improve first case on-time starts

Editor's Note In this study, implementation of Lean interventions to redesign the workflow in the preoperative holding area of a large urban medical center was linked to significantly improved rates of elective first case on-time starts. Data from 23,891 surgical procedures performed over 415 days were examined−86 days before, 35…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 6, 2018
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Full-scale mockup clears path to efficient new ORs

Anyone who has been involved in an OR design and construction project knows it is a labor-intensive, time-consuming effort—and usually far from seamless. There’s almost always something no one thinks of until it is too late, and the staff must learn to live with the flaws. But a multidisciplinary team…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
July 23, 2018
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Surgical Council facilitates service line moves between hospitals

To improve healthcare delivery and eliminate duplication, hospitals are banding together into systems in which specialties such as labor and delivery and smaller surgical cases are performed at satellite hospitals, and larger, more complex procedures are done at the main campus. This is the approach taken at the Cleveland Clinic,…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
May 18, 2018
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