Part 2 of 3: The benefits of an improved Patient Flow in the Operating Room
Connecting the dots
Operating Room management is not just about the Operating Room. There are many moving parts, people and resources that each need to be part of the ‘well-oiled-machine’ that is an efficient and robust OR workflow.
The moment the surgeon indicates a patient requires surgery, the machine is in motion and a series of notifications and approval requests need to be generated, based on the staff member’s role, permissions and tasks needed. The scheduler then notifies the surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical nurse, cleaning team and of course, the patient and his family.
Ideally, this can be accomplished in a simple and expedient manner, preferably through one interface, saving time and avoiding possible confusion.
Day of surgery
As part of the workflow, all details about the patient need to be shared securely and expediently with the OR staff who need to take action. This includes any pre-existing conditions, religious considerations and other accommodations. With a few clicks, the scheduler needs to coordinate, confirm and receive the appropriate approvals within minutes so no time is wasted and they can get the patient to the assigned OR on time.
For a successful workflow, post-op activities should be tracked and generate customizable notifications. The movement of the patient to the recovery area should notify the family, nursing staff and orderlies of patient progress. Cleaning staff should also receive a notification to get the OR ready for the next scheduled surgery.
For an ideal optimized solution, engaged resources should be able to see the status of individual patients and OR rooms through a dashboard on mobile or PC and/or have an overview of all patients and OR rooms through digital signage in a central location. This information could also be presented visually on digital signage in the Schedulers area for a commonly available overview of all ORs and patient statuses.
With an efficiently managed OR solution, you can have full control from end to end of all surgeries and associated tasks, resources and equipment. Your organization can reduce the risk of over-runs, over-laps and cancellations due to over-booking and even provision for emergencies by applying a ‘buffer’ within the schedule, based on past data (i.e., Friday nights have a higher rate of emergencies, so keep at least one OR available and staffed accordingly). With the right solution you can generate comprehensive reports showing exactly how your patient satisfaction has measurably improved and how your staff’s time is optimized.