Swedish Health CEO Dr. Guy Hudson overhauls concurrent surgery policy

Less than two months into the job, the new CEO of Seattle-based Swedish Health, Guy Hudson, MD, is changing the policy about how many cases surgeons can work on at the same time, he told The Seattle Times.

Dr. Hudson took the helm at Swedish Health in late June, a few months after The Seattle Times published an investigative report about how some surgeons frequently performed overlapping surgeries at the health system.

His new policy requires surgeons to be present for the "substantial majority" of the surgery, which includes everything except minor activities at the beginning and end of a case, such as closing the incision, according to the report. Staff will also record every time a surgeon enters or exits the OR.

The policy was not adopted because concurrent surgeries were unsafe, nor is the practice uncommon at teaching hospitals, Dr. Hudson told The Seattle Times. However, the new policies aim to address patient concerns and expectations that a surgeon would be present for the majority of a case, according to the report.

The policy could limit patient access to surgeons, he said, so the health system plans to evaluate the need for more ORs and surgeons going forward, according to the report.

Read the full story here.


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