An emergency department patient requires an unscheduled surgery during prime time and is delayed. The scheduling of the add-on causes workflow inefficiencies in both the ED and the OR due to a lack of coordination between the departments. The result is diminished patient safety, productivity, and patient, physician, and staff satisfaction.
The real-time OR schedule was made transparent to the emergency department and other groups that request add-ons. Out-of-department personnel now track in real-time the status and availability of OR resources and can directly request an emergency case on the OR schedule. Upon placement of an add-on, alerts are issued to key personnel and groups required to perform the new case including pre-op nurses, pharmacy, blood bank, anesthesia, surgeons, circulators, and PACU nurses. Acknowledgement of the add-on is mandated for each group in order to guarantee coordination across the facility.
Physicians and staff acknowledge that coordination and cooperation related to add-on cases has improved and that the associated case delays have been reduced. Furthermore, both the clinical and clerical staffs across the facility have experienced significant decreases in inquiries, phone calls, and other disruptions due to add-ons. The results have directly improved patient safety, operating efficiency, and patient, physician, and staff satisfaction.