Today’s Surgical Services leaders are struggling to navigate the ebbs and flows of demand due to COVID-19 variants that keep coming in waves. Schedules and staff availability are constantly changing, and with no real-time visibility into the near-constant modifications to the surgical schedule and antiquated communication methods that traditionally support surgical care coordination, leaders are seeing varying utilization rates, significant overtime costs and frustrated staff members, according to a recent survey by In90group Research.
At the same time, the financial burden many health systems are carrying due to the surgical slowdowns and shutdowns amid the pandemic are adding to the pressure OR administrators are feeling, especially since surgical services typically represents 60% of a hospital’s revenues.
Unfortunately, administrators often work from outdated visibility into the utilization and performance of their facilities. At best, they can access days’ old or months’ old information, which is too late to make necessary corrections. The need for real-time visibility into operating and procedural room utilization has never been greater.
The good news is that the mobile-first technology developed by RelayOne puts these real-time insights in the palm of your hand. Whether you are a perioperative nurse or a cardiovascular surgeon, a medical device vendor representative or a member of the sterile services team, up-to-the-minute surgery schedules and case requirements are instantly available through a smartphone or desktop. In addition, OR administrators can gain actionable insights in real-time so improvements in utilization and operational efficiencies can be implemented immediately.
Insights for the Administrative Team
With RelayOne’s real-time surgical care team collaboration software, administrators have real-time visibility in the metrics that matter most when it comes to improving clinical and operational performance of their facilities.
Wayne McFatter, co-executive director at North Carolina’s Cone Health (a large, not-for-profit health system with four hospitals, three ambulatory surgery centers, and 73 operating rooms with dozens of special procedure rooms), recently commented in a webinar entitled Creating Extreme Efficiencies in Surgical Services: A Cone Health Study, “We are all interested in our turnover times, case count for the day, first case on-time starts, all case starting on time. With RelayOne, you can click one button and see your up-to-the-minute case count, productivity for the day, utilization for the day, and turnover times to the second. And then of course, you can look back at the days before and see how you did the day before.”
McFatter added, “With Epic or even with any other program, we don’t have that real-time feedback. Usually, it’s a one-two day lag to get that important information, but your team can now say hey, ‘I’m halfway through the day. We’ve utilized 50% of the OR today. We’ve got 50% more to go, so we’re on track.’ Or you can see that your turnover time so far have been this many minutes. We need to pick it up a little bit or we know that we’re right on target. All of this analytical data is real-time, and there’s no lag in those statistics. That’s been a big plus for us.”
Real-Time Visibility for Surgical Services Staff
Visibility for surgical care teams is at the core of RelayOne – and we mean visibility for everyone who is involved in a patient’s surgical journey. When asked who uses the RelayOne solution at Cone Health, Sharon McCarter, co-executive director of perioperative services, said, “A multi-disciplinary group is currently using RelayOne. It began with OR leaders. And we had several surgeons who wanted to tap into it immediately and the use of this technology. So, it has quickly grown to a very large group, multiple departments. And as we continue to talk about RelayOne, everybody wanted to take part in this technology. And we’re very excited about things to come.
The Cone Health team has been able to eliminate the bulk of emails, texts, calls, and any other mode that they were using. McCarter added, “RelayOne allows our staff to be more engaged in what they need to be doing, which is the patient care. I will say the engagement with RelayOne with our surgeons has been phenomenal. They have the opportunity to look at their own schedules and follow their own schedules, and in some situations, if they had a cancellation, they may not be aware of, there’s opportunity for them to add additional cases. So, it has worked extremely well in situations like that.”
100% of nurses and nearly 50% of surgeons at Cone Health are RelayOne users. In addition, many other roles within Cone Health depend on RelayOne:
– Executive directors
– Administrative assistants
– Physician assistant
– Director, Anesthesia
– Trauma call team
– Clinical nurse specialists
– Perioperative materials manager
– Interventional Radiology
– Short stay scheduler
– Lead CST
– CSTs (Scrub technicians)
– Endoscopy technicians
– Histologic technicians
– Lab director
– Lab technicians
– Interoperative OCT technicians
– Vendor representatives