Last week we participated in the 2020 OR Manager Conference. Although things may have looked different this year, it was still a fantastic event where perioperative leaders connected with their peers to network and share best practices. They were also able to virtually visit booths like ours to see the latest in technology and surgical suite improvements.

I had the honor of delivering a continuing education session. Although I missed the social interaction, connection, and banter you get at a live conference (it’s MUCH harder to make eye contact and connect on a personal level via Zoom), I’m glad I was still able to offer educational and current event insights to attendees.

If you were not able to attend my session live, it is still available on-demand for attendees, but I’ll recap the highlights here.

While elective surgeries have resumed, the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and continues to impact hospitals. Original case volume in many places have not come back to full capacity due to a number of factors including a need to reschedule the backlog while addressing organic growth, a lack of staff and resources, patient concerns about entering hospitals during the pandemic, and the mandatory pre-screening (of surgical patients) in a time of changing recommendations.

eBook: Managing Surgical Services During COVID-19

To assist perioperative leadership, physicians, and nurses in optimizing efficiency and OR case volume for the duration of this pandemic, Hospital IQ has developed these 7 tenets:

  1. Establish COVID-19 Governance: Provide defined, transparent, and responsive oversight of the COVID-19 Perioperative Performance Plan.
  2. Develop Guiding Principles for Case Prioritization: Share pre-determined guiding principles for case prioritization with surgical offices to assist them in organizing and planning their backlog.
  3. Define Operating Model: Address both current state and future state to set priorities and goals, and operationalize plans.
  4. Establish Multidisciplinary Task Force: The task force reviews conflicts and provides recommendations to the COVID Governance team.
  5. Develop a Mixed-Media Communication Plan: It is crucial to have multiple ways of passing information back and forth and to have one agreed upon source of truth.
  6. Initiate a Daily Huddle Schedule: Proactively manage current and future operating room schedules to optimize capacity and predictability.
  7. Create, Track and Report Performance Indicators: Identify, track, and report performance metrics and indicators to ensure focus and provide insight into what is effective.

Hospital IQ can help you build a path forward in uncertain times. Our perioperative solution enables dynamic block scheduling and provides leaders with prescriptive recommendations to effectively manage through this uncertainty by improving access to available OR time, automating processes and communication, aligning OR staff to true demand, and more. We want to help you manage your way through this recovery process with visibility, transparency, and trust.

COVID-19 is a dynamic situation that requires strong governance plans across all perioperative stakeholders. My presentation dove deeper into providing guidance and specific steps to achieve these 7 tenets, and you can download this eBook to receive most of the content I covered. Although you can use traditional methods to manage the perioperative department, Hospital IQ’s advanced workflow and analytics systems can really help your organization improve operational efficiency, both during COVID-19 and beyond.