Staff develops processes for working in new surgical suites
March, 2016 - As construction continues for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan (CHS), a diverse group of healthcare practitioners teamed up to begin to design how patients, families, providers, supplies and equipment, will move through the new building.
During a week-long improvement event, one group of Region staff initiated the design of the processes within the new induction rooms, which is where a child will undergo general anesthesia.
The induction rooms will be located outside of the pediatric operating rooms (ORs) in CHS. In our current Saskatoon hospitals, having family caregivers present at the time of pediatric induction is not a standard practice; however, patient and family advisors have requested to be with their loved one while the child receives anaesthesia, to assist in reducing their child’s anxiety.
Another group of staff began tackling how OR supplies will be managed and stored in CHS as part of the improvement event. The group determined which items would be available in the pass-through cupboards from the OR core to the OR, the process for restocking the supplies, and began to consider how the supply rooms located off the ORs will be organized to maximize efficiency and minimize wasted time searching for equipment and supplies.
The groups simulated patients moving all the way from registration through to being received in the recovery room. Assessing how patients move through the surgery department supported the projected volumes for pediatric surgeries.
Another key observation made by the team was potential congestion at registration and in the waiting rooms, related to patients arriving up to three hours prior to surgery. One suggestion by the team was to review arrival times on day of surgery, along with patients registering online or by telephone prior to the day of surgery. This pre-registration model would allow healthcare providers to be better prepared for the patients and decrease the wait-time and angst for families on the day of surgery.
Some of the other recommendations developed during the week involved additional work on operating room case carts to ensure carts are created based on the size of the patient and not the age, and producing laminated checklists for handovers that are visible in the induction room and the operating room, ensuring that no steps are missed and ultimately decreasing the risk of error. As well, the team recommended combining assessment processes to eliminate unnecessary hand-offs between nurses.
Overall the event was a success and is best summarized by Dalene Newton, director of Acute Medicine and Complex Care, and Kim Davy, co-leads of the improvement team: “What we know at the end of this improvement event is that the operating and induction rooms will work for the projected volumes of patients, and that families will indeed be able to be present during induction. We also know that we will need more of these improvement events to have everything ready for when the hospital opens. We scratched the surface with this event; more work will need to be done in the next few years before the hospital opens.”