Employing Smart OR
As healthcare organizations necessarily
focus on developing the sort of efficien-cies needed to keep budgets healthy,
few areas face more scrutiny than the
operating room. It’s not just the highly
delicate nature of procedures taking
place there that makes it one of the
most critical spaces in a facility.
For guidance on the best
approaches to OR turnover, Surgical
Products looked to Sue Champion,
MBA, BSN, RN, CNOR. She offered
her thoughts on setting protocols,
instrument management, considerations for new staff, and much more.
What is the biggest challenge
hospitals face with turning over
the OR between procedures?
The operating room has traditionally
been one of the highest revenue
generators for healthcare organizations. However, as reimbursements
have declined, so have the profits for
surgery. This requires healthcare organizations to more closely examine the
opportunity to improve their bottom line
through improved supply management
and OR turnover.
Time is critical in the OR. The biggest
challenge in the OR is being able to turn
the room quickly and efficiently. It’s critical to have all of the necessary equipment and supplies ready to prepare the
room for the following procedure –
and this preparedness is essential to
efficiency and patient safety.
How are best-in-class facilities
overcoming this challenge?
Standardizing procedure practices
is one of the most important ways to
meet the challenge of turnover time.
Getting From One Surgery To The Next
Adequate staffing and organizing the
surgical schedule to allow for like procedures to follow each other is also
key for improving turnover times.
Ensuring accurate physician preference cards is a best-practice for facilities that are committed to improving
room turnover. Physician preference
cards are relied on by clinicians in the
OR. The benefits of a well-managed
system for physician preference cards
will support clinicians by reducing
case times, improving room turnover,
and ultimately freeing clinicians to
focus on delivering patient care.
Another way facilities can reduce
spend on medical supplies and time in
the OR is by eliminating redundancies;
standardizing components across their
procedural kits can improve time per
procedure and room turnover.
Finally, ORs that create a multidisciplinary team (OR staff, surgeons,
anesthesia providers, etc.) to specify
roles during case set-up and clean-up
often see improved turnover times.
By determining the most efficient,
safe approach for simultaneous activities by everyone involved, the team
operates more seamlessly and can
best serve the patient.
Are there products available to
help nurses/staff improve OR
Yes, bundled or kitted supplies used for
room set-up and cleanup are the most
prominent solutions for efficient room
turnover. A nurse’s time is very valuable
in the OR and operating turnover times
impact the facility’s profitably. Therefore,
it benefits the clinicians to have as few
items to unwrap as possible while preparing the room for surgery. Time saved
opening one pack with that physician’s
preference items can be a time and
cost savings, and lead to improved OR
turnover times with less to clean up.
It’s crucial the facility regularly
reviews their kit contents and preference cards to eliminate never-used
items and decrease set-up and
What incentive do facilities have to
turn over the room more quickly?
Patient satisfaction is a key incentive
for every facility, and ensuring the OR
schedule runs efficiently and on-time
is paramount. With patient satisfaction
scores via the Hospital Consumer
Assessment of Healthcare Providers
and Systems (HCAHPS) bearing significant influence on the reimbursement
a facility receives for the care given,
any opportunity to increase patient
satisfaction cannot be ignored.
The financial aspect cannot be
ignored either. Every minute in an oper-
By Daniel Seeger, Editor