Creating a Culture to Improve Throughput


Smooth and successful OR throughput hinges on three important factors to keep patients advancing through the essentials of their care: on-time starts, efficient turnaround times and parallel case processing.

Premier prepares its medical leaders for superior and reliable accomplishment of these goals. Medical Directors have training in prestigious and effective process improvement techniques, such as Six Sigma and LEAN. They also have real-world experience in implementing improvement initiatives, from collaboration with facility leadership and staff, to hands-on execution.

The important goal of improving turnaround times is a team effort. The key players on the team, of course, are the anesthesia providers. They are active participants in ensuring that turnaround times improve. The process begins with setting the right incremental goals. Next comes understanding the team's level of performance against the standard expected. The goal is then clearly communicated to the team, and all involved must know what their roles are in achieving the metrics articulated.

To ensure the goals are more than pie-in-the-sky hopes, Premier Anesthesia constantly audits first starts, block utilization, turnovers, and cancellations based on customized metrics. Providers are held accountable. Premier Pathways - the proprietary tool that monitors outcomes in real time - allows for immediate action, if and when adjustments need to be made to keep cases on track.

Premier Pathways is an anesthesia information management system that captures essential quality, safety, throughput, and efficiency information - all customized by the providers - at points all throughout the perioperative process. It looks at factors that impact patient care and bigger picture data that reflects the performance of providers, their teams and even the facility. Any number of factors - alone or in combination - can affect OR turnover times. Collecting and analyzing data is key as the team works together to create solutions specific to the facility's OR needs.

Negativity such as blaming each other and complaining about situations in need of improvement is detrimental and isn't permitted. Good, well-trained leaders encourage strong collaboration, which leads to ongoing improvement and, ultimately, better outcomes.

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