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Archive June 2019 XX, No. 6

A Turn for the Better

8 ways to cut your turnover times - without sacrificing patient care.

Mike Morsch

Mike Morsch, Associate Editor


Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN, CNOR
EARLY CALL Environmental services needs to know as soon as possible that a room is down and that it needs to be cleaned.

You never want to sacrifice patient safety in your quest to start the next case as soon as possible. Here's a collection of tips to speed room turnover without jeopardizing your level of care.

1. Deploy your troops

Let's start with a few creative ways to let environmental services know that a room is down and that it needs to be cleaned. There are beepers, overhead paging systems, red magnets and even electronic boards that flash a "final stitch" symbol.

  • Beepers. At the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, Okla., they programmed a string of beepers to page the housekeeping staff, OR charge nurse and PACU staff at once to let them know that the patient is coming off the table. The circulator enters "222" for room 2, "333" for room 3 and so on.
  • Overhead page. "When staff are working in other ancillary areas such as the work room or in the stock room, they can hear the overhead page and they will stop and go help that room turn over," says Kelly Norman, RN, CNOR, administrator at Advanced Family Surgery Center in Oak Ride, Tenn. "This gives that OR extra hands to get the room clean and set up for the next patient."
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