Archive August 2018 XIX, No. 8

Ideas That Work: Stay on Schedule

Dry Erase Board Keeps You Uber-Organized

BOARD MEETING We plot out the whole week's schedule on a magnetic dry erase whiteboard.

There are so many moving parts to an OR schedule that it's hard to keep up with all the people, places and things, even for the most organized among us. Our solution: a magnetic dry erase whiteboard that hangs in the hallway outside our ORs and provides a big-picture look at the week's cases and a zoom-in on each day's cases. It serves as an excellent visual tool for staff to reference to ensure we have the equipment, supplies and staff required by each case — especially easy-to-overlook add-ons. We can make instant scheduling changes by moving the magnets around so, for example, so we don't bombard the PACU with 5 rooms coming open all at once.

You can buy erase boards with permanent lines and board headings, but it was easy (and much less expensive!) to make our own. We bought all we needed at the office supply store: the erase board (50" x 96"), magnetic strips, round magnets, a label maker and pinstriping tape. With a ruler, we used the pinstriping tape to make daily grids of blocked time segments for our 5 ORs and every day of the week. Next we made labels of all the procedures we perform and stuck the labels on the magnetic strips. The green round magnets show when a case is scheduled to end — and help us prevent overloading PACU.

Our OR team huddles around the board in the morning for 5 minutes to look over the day's cases and confirm rooms are fully staffed and equipment is in place. They reconvene for 10 minutes in the afternoon to make sure they're ready for the next day's cases. You might say our board is a bit of a mess, but that's actually its name: MESS, short for Method, Equipment, Supplies and Staff.

Rachel Graham, MSN, RN, CNOR
Randolph Health
Asheboro, N.C.

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