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Archive September 2019 XX, No. 9

Ideas That Work: Utility Players

Use 'Runners' to Cut Turnover Time

Tower Clock Surgery Center
HOME RUN "Runners" literally run back and forth between ORs, transporting anything that's needed for an upcoming case.

We've shaved some precious minutes off our turnover times by creating a "runner" position to help the RN, surgical tech and the 1 to 2 instrument techs we staff for each case at our 2-OR ophthalmic ASC, a facility that handles 25 to 30 cases per day. As the name implies, runners — surgical techs and sometimes RNs — literally run between our ORs to ensure everything is in order for the next case.  

Before a procedure, runners help with everything from opening up and prepping instrument kits and hooking up patients to monitors to positioning microscopes and foot pedals. But that's not all. Like true utility players, runners will do whatever needs to be done to keep a case on schedule. For example, it's not uncommon for runners to empty the garbage or wipe down the room. And when OR1 is in good shape, runners dart right over to OR2 to help our team get a jump on the next case.

Since we've added the runner position, we're able to staff our ORs with one less tech. Added bonus: We've noticed a definite boost in morale among staff because they benefit from this OR utility player.

Stacy Rukamp, RN
Tower Clock Surgery Center
Green Bay, Wis.

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