Sep 1 2011

The Right Recovery Room

Livonia Surgery Center turns to staff for input, goes lean

Lean Coaches, Core and Workshop Leadership Members:

  • Matt Plachta, facilitator
  • Mary Duck, lean coach
  • Pat Lyons, lean coach
  • Loren Levy, M.D., sponsor
  • Pam Cittan, MSA, R.N., process owner
  • Barb White, CNOR, R.N., process owner
  • Donna Busch, R.N., workshop leader
  • Donna Duneske, R.N., workshop leader
  • Joelle Flynn, BSN, workshop leader
  • Roger Miller, R.N., workshop leader

When it comes to décor and operational processes, a lot can change in two decades. Employees at the Livonia Surgery Center were ready for updates. The recovery room was worn, cluttered and had few computers. Processes that worked on paper years ago had become cumbersome. Staff wanted to organize, streamline and simplify to spend more time at the patients’ bedsides.

“Our surgery center is different,” says Pamela Cittan, MSA, R.N., administrator and nurse manager, Livonia Surgery Center. “Our clinical leadership – Loren Levy, medical director, Barb White, operating room supervisor, and myself – met and agreed we wanted staff to be involved and asked them to look at what they would like to contribute and, in essence, become a dynamic part of the change.”

Engaging employees and utilizing lean coaches Mary Duck and Pat Lyons, the surgery center underwent a nine-month makeover that resulted in a 12-point improvement in Employee Engagement scores when it comes to recommending the department as a place to work. 92 percent of those surveyed would recommend the Livonia Surgery Center to others looking for jobs.

“It was a long, intense process,” says Cittan. “We held pre-meetings. We looked at the aesthetics of the physical environment, how and where supplies were stored and processes for daily workflow. And, we didn’t want to close surgeries down during the improvements.”

Roger Miller, R.N., uses a workstation-on-wheels in the newly updated phase II recovery room.

One issue for employees was that supplies were spread throughout the unit, decreasing important face time with patients. The group collectively evaluated which supplies were used, unused and needed to be easily accessible. The desk structure was redesigned, new shelves installed and a ‘just-in-time’ stock implemented that led to an overall cost savings. Many items were purged to a recycling center.

Other improvements include:
• An updated waiting room
• New floors, artwork and signage
• A separate pre-procedure room for GI patients with recovery room area
• Standardized transport and hand-off processes from pre-op to operating rooms to recovery
• New recliners and a brighter atmosphere for patients in phase II recovery

Finally, laptop computers were purchased and strategically placed for phase I and phase II recovery to accommodate patient needs and allow nurses the flexibility needed to care for patients.

Laptops are available for caregivers at the patient's bedside in phase I recovery.

“We initially put a computer on a wall mount with a large swiveling arm,” Cittan says, “but staff didn’t like it so we researched and staff approved a more compact model that provided stability and clarity from all perspectives at the patient’s side.” Workstations on wheels were implemented in phase II recovery.

Lean tools were utilized throughout the Livonia Surgery Center’s makeover in an effort to ensure the future state improved workflow, cut costs and resulted in a more positive experience for patients. Feedback from patients and staff alike has been positive.

At the Livonia Surgery Center:

  • General Surgery
  • Gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pain (anesthesia)
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Podiatry
  • Urology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology

One Response to “The Right Recovery Room”

  1. Margaret Netti says:

    I have been there since the renovation and it looks fantastic! Way to go Livonia!

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