June 25, 2012
When patients and their families walk through the front doors at Women’s College Hospital (WCH), they receive high-quality care and services that are responsive to their needs and expectations. And we’re constantly focused on improvement. As part of our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP), finding new and enhanced ways to deliver care and improve patient satisfaction is at the forefront.
That’s why the surgery department is implementing new initiatives to improve quality. One example is how they are increasing the percentage of first operating room (OR) cases that start on time or early.
An on-time start means that the first surgery of the day starts within the first five minutes of the original set time. Anything past the five-minute mark is considered late. Aside from delaying surgery, a late start could have a domino effect on all cases that follow.
To ensure efficient and effective utilization of the OR suites, the department is monitoring start times each day and tracking progress throughout the week on a publicly posted board.
“The spotlight board is a great way to display our status in the OR. There are two indicators: red and green, which represent the punctuality of the team and our operational status,” says Vicky Noguera, director of surgical services. “It’s done in a transparent way for all to see, and it helps keep everything running smoothly and on time.”
And it’s working. Currently, WCH exceeds the provincial benchmark of 74 per cent and is aiming for even higher numbers. A target has been set to have 80 per cent of surgeries start on time or early, maximizing flow and efficiency. As an extra measure, a monthly report is sent to an OR committee to monitor and review the progress.
Each surgery involves a team of dedicated individuals including physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, residents, porters and many more.
“This quality initiative brings our team together for a common goal – to increase efficiency and start times in the OR. It will fundamentally improve the patient experience,” says Noguera.Jump to top page