Accelero recently hosted a webinar entitled, A High Efficiency Model for Orthopedic Surgeons. In the webinar Dr. Robert Booth, MD and Tim Sweeten, Accelero’s perioperative leader, discussed tried and true methods to improve your surgical throughput. Many of the suggestions may seem inconsequential, but done correctly you will see a dramatic improvement. From my perspective, the keys are:
- Know your patient. This means perform the proper screening, know and plan for any co-morbidities they may have, and ensure they are scheduled based on severity and time required. This is subjective, but most folks like to start with a scope or more routine procedure as a ‘warm-up’ and progress from there.
- Communicate with your patients and their coaches. From the initial office visit they should know what to expect at every step of the process. This includes not only patient education but a timeline of treatment, surgical alternatives, and therapy requirements. The more patients know and understand, the more accepting and satisfied they will be.
- Plan ahead. Do not wait until the day of surgery to decide the pain treatment or order set. Anything that can be done in advance should be done in advance. It only adds undo stress and a greater opportunity to miscommunication on the day of surgery.
- Communicate with the staff. Similar to planning ahead, reviewing the procedures, what is required and timing of the surgeries will go along way to ensure the staff and surgeon are on the same page. This is most critical for first case on-time starts, which can be dramatically increased with a little give and take.
- Know your metrics. The first step to improve your surgical times is to know what your typical surgical times are. There is an old saying, you can’t improve upon what you do not know. This is the case for perioperative times.
- Understand your metrics. To improve your surgical times requires you to understand the minimum amount of time required to do the work. Once you understand the timing of your work, you can choose to continue as planned or look to eliminate unnecessary steps and materials throughout each step of the process.
- Strive for consistency. ORs are reluctant in add more surgeries to any day if past history tells them that there is not enough time. Only after you know your metrics and consistently meet them will you be able to add new procedures without negatively affecting staff overtime and morale.
All of these steps are attainable, but may need an outsiders point view. If you are looking to make great strides in throughput but don’t know where to turn, contact Accelero today for the winning formula.