Archive December 2019 XX, No. 12

Ideas That Work: Constant Contact

Touch Base With Patients Every 30 Minutes

Habersham Medical Center
TIME CHECK A centrally located board keeps staff informed on the last time patients were updated on their status in pre-op.

When it comes to keeping patients happy when their case start times are delayed, clear and consistent communication is key. That’s easier said than done. Nurses are always on the go and might forget how long it’s been since they touched base with each patient in pre-op. We tried to solve that problem by instituting a 30-minute rule: Staff touch base with patients at least every 30 minutes to update their status and let them know when they can expect to be taken to the OR. We hung a communication board near the nurses station to let staff know when patients were checked on last. Nurses note the last time they talked to patients in each pre-op room, so we know when a staff member needs to go check on the patient as soon as possible. When the patient is moved to the OR, a nurse marks an X in the column next to the last check-in to let the team know. The constant check-ins keep patients informed and foster a greater understanding among patients of why a wait might be longer than they expected and ensures they understand that we’re working to get them into surgery as soon as possible.

Deanna Case, RN
Habersham Medical Center
Demorest, Ga.

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