Supporting OR Efficiency with Strong Perioperative Leadership

Pre oxygenation for general anesthesia. Surgery equipment

After working in anesthesia practice management since 2004, we have found a common theme in underperforming surgical departments—poor leadership. While it may be easier to point the finger at an individual surgical team member or place blame on other departments for issues like slow room turnover, high complication rates, case cancellations or low morale, the truth is that these problems are easily solvable by establishing strong leadership. Here we share tips on how to use goal setting and action plans to make real progress toward enhancing OR efficiency.

Your OR Is Worth the Investment

Effective OR leadership can help increase hospital revenues in several direct and indirect ways that vary based on the specific needs of an organization. For example, while increasing OR utilization is a direct way to increase revenue, rethinking anesthesia modalities could result in shorter PACU stays, which could indirectly increase revenue. Since the OR is typically the driver for up to 70% of hospital revenue, small refinements in the perioperative ecosystem can result in sizable payoffs. For this reason, improving your surgical department is always worth the investment.

Start the Process of Assessing and Prioritizing Improvements

When grappling with an underperforming surgical department, it can sometimes be difficult to determine where to begin the improvement process. Rather than guessing at where problems lie, assess your current surgical practice objectively. Data will reveal routinely occurring inefficiencies and spotlight low-hanging fruits. After analyzing your data, prioritize the improvements you want to make and set benchmarks based on your facility’s goals. These goals should support your entire facility, such as:

  • Expanding service lines to cover additional surgical volume
  • Establishing or expanding a quality assurance program
  • Improving on-time first case starts
  • Improving surgical satisfaction among all patients

Develop Your Action Plan for Achieving Improvements

Achieving goals requires a tactical action plan. Every administrator and healthcare provider should have a sense of ownership of this plan and feel confident in being able to follow it closely. Importantly, the action plan must be realistic and should win the support of department and hospital leadership. In addition to introducing best practices, the plan should include a way to document real, measurable improvements in efficiency and cost-effectiveness. By documenting these improvements, progress can be monitored over time. Providing an avenue for all team members to check off action items on the list will promote a spirit of teamwork and support high morale.

Anesthesia’s Role in Perioperative Leadership

CCI Anesthesia providers possess natural leadership qualities and are trained to support surgeon satisfaction, patient satisfaction, and better clinical outcomes. If your facility is working to increase case volume but is weighed down by anesthesia staffing issues, transitioning to CCI Anesthesia is a smart choice. Additionally, if your current anesthesia providers are uninterested in participating on committees or teams charged with improvement efforts, it may be time for a change. Ultimately, your anesthesia providers play a critical role in supporting perioperative leadership and they must be up to the task.

Helping You Achieve Your Goals

At CCI Anesthesia, we take on our clients’ goals as our own. Our leaders look for every opportunity to create value for our clients, which is why we offer a full suite of resources including:

  • Real-time reporting of best-in-class perioperative KPIs powered by Merlin
  • Consulting to streamline perioperative services
  • Interim OR director staffing to ensure seamless perioperative leadership transitions
  • Surgeon staffing and management through our sister company NexGen Surgical
  • Tablet-based anesthesia EMR to capture performance metrics powered by Medaxion
  • Quality management and compliance benchmarking by the CCI Institute of Excellence

Contact CCI Anesthesia Today

These resources are first class and provide our clients with the tools they need to scale operations safely and efficiently. If you are ready for an anesthesia management partner who can help create a high-performing perioperative service, contact us today at 800.494.3948.