4 Ways to Save OR Staff Time

"Anything you can do to reduce staff time will have tremendous impact on the bottom line of the facility," says Mike Lipomi, president and CEO of Surgical Management Professionals in Sioux Falls, S.D. Mr. Lipomi offers four ways to save staff time in an ambulatory surgery center.



1. Develop preference cards. Develop the cards by physician and by procedure. "This is much less wasteful than pulling or opening items the physician won't use," Mr. Lipomi says.

2. Continually update preference cards. Preference cards should be updated whenever the physician makes a change in preference. Review preference cards every six months to make sure they are still accurate. Categories that most likely need updating are procedures performed infrequently at the ASC and physicians who use the ASC infrequently. "Updating preference cards takes the guesswork out of keeping supplies up-to-date and keeps the doctor happy," Mr. Lipomi says.

3. Pull cases the day before surgery. Staff should pull supplies for the next day's cases in downtime between cases. "This is better utilization of human resources," Mr. Lipomi says. "This can be done rather than sitting in the lounge waiting for the next case." Doing it the day before means staff still has time to order or borrow supplies by the next day. "If you realize something is missing on the day of surgery, you'll have to cancel or delay the case," he says.

4. Keep staff highly trained. Highly trained staff can be more efficient. Provide on-site education. Arrange for paid leave and reimburse expenses for approved educational programs. Focus the most highly trained staff in orthopedics, because it is one of the most challenging fields. "Staff need to know the equipment, the monitors, the drills, the implants and, most importantly, the physicians," Mr. Lipomi says.


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