Committing to Quality, Efficiency: OR Huddles in Action

Many hospital operating rooms have daily huddles — multidisciplinary team meetings to discuss problems and strategies for success. Here are four examples of OR daily huddles in action.

1. At Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago, a "HUDDLE" stands for Healthcare United for Daily Decisions through Leadership Enthusiasm, according to David Young, MD, managing partner of Surgical Directions and medical director of pre-surgical testing at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. The huddle includes a group of OR stakeholders who meet every day at 2 p.m. for about 35 minutes to discuss 40 to 60 cases scheduled for the following day.

2. One operating room management model is a daily OR charge team, according to Len Firestone, MD, medical director of perioperative services at Health Inventures. The charge team's goal is to optimize utilization of staffed hours and promote reliability; this happens through morning, mid-day and afternoon huddles and proactive adjustment of the next day's OR schedule.

3. Research published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery suggests an eight-step change process may help improve operating room efficiency. In the study, a 7:35 a.m. huddle improved nurses' perceptions of patient safety within the OR and increased on-time starts by 16 percent the month after implementation.

4. At Appleton, Wis.-based ThedaCare, OR group members huddle for about 10 to 15 minutes at least once a day to identify problems that occurred in the last 12 to 24 hours, according to John S. Toussaint, MD, CEO emeritus of ThedaCare and president and CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value. The group identifies high-impact issues and delegates the issues to staff and physicians for them to solve during the day as they have time.

More Articles on Surgical Directions:

The OR Efficiency Game Plan: Using Daily Huddles to Streamline Care
Case Study: New OR Leadership, Processes Improve Finances by 7 Figures

Case Study: Perpetual Inventory System Saved Hospital $4.5M

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