According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) the total number of surgeries at community hospitals in the United States increased by 17% to about 26.8 million procedures in 2015. Is your hospital’s presurgical evaluation and screening process performing at an optimum level?
Discover how Sullivan Healthcare Consulting perioperative consultants implemented process improvements for a large community hospital struggling with unproductive preadmission testing and presurgical evaluations, and lengthy patient stays.
- Identifying opportunities for improvement in preanesthesia testing (PAT) and presurgical screening (PSS), to ensure that patients were clinically ready for surgery
- Hospital considered constructing a new PAT/PSS clinic
- Wanted to ensure best practices were incorporated in design
How Our Perioperative Consultants Improved Presurgical Evaluations
Our perioperative consultants partnered with the hospital’s surgery governance committee to implement the following:
- Reengineering the PAT process to ensure 100% of elective patients were properly screened and prepared for surgery
- Establishing a cutoff time of noon the day prior to surgery for completion of elective case charts
- Recommending the development of standard screening and testing criteria for the department of anesthesiology
- Training RNs on the efficient use of a standardized phone screening tool
- Establishing a daily multidisciplinary “huddle” to review patient readiness for surgery
- Establishing a “stop-the-line” process if all elements were not in place by noon the day prior to scheduled surgery
- Established a newly designed PSS version of the daily OR schedule indicating special patient conditions and readiness, which increased consistency and streamlined communication
- Developed and implemented an anesthesia screening tool
- Increased nursing efficiency by creating a standardized screening process
- Reinforced and maintained the daily huddle
- Put in place a procedure for the anesthesiologist in charge or an OR director to contact surgeons directly regarding cases that needed to be rescheduled due to incomplete patient information
Ongoing efforts using LEAN process improvement initiatives resulted in further improvements:
- Changed the target time from noon to 11:00 AM so that by noon, virtually 100% of charts were completed
- Created a “red folder” of patients who screened positive, with anesthesiology reviewing information daily during the huddle and managing cases according to patient need
- Established a standard faxing location in PSS using RightFax so that all faxes could be electronically tracked
- Ensured that all activities and improvements were compatible with the anticipated implementation of a new, computerized management system
- Improved staff, surgeon, and anesthesiologist job satisfaction and utilized resources more efficiently
During implementation, our perioperative consultants provide hospital administration with a list of quantitative measurements that identify where they started, six-month goals, and long-term/final goals. Our team of experts can ensure that the implementation of recommendations will result in a more-than-adequate return on investment.
To learn more about our services and how Sullivan can help improve your organization’s performance, contact us today.