Archive August 2014 XV, No. 8

Is Your Turnover Team Fast Enough?

Secrets to getting your ORs ready a few minutes sooner.

Dan O

Dan O'Connor, Editor-in-Chief


turnover team NEED FOR SPEED No matter how fast your turnover times, part of you always wants to do a little better.

Are you satisfied with your turnover times? If you’re like most (82.2%) of the surgical facility leaders we surveyed last month, yes, you’re pretty pleased with how quickly your turnover team readies the room for the next case. We use the term team loosely, however, because only about 1 in 5 of our respondents actually has a dedicated turnover team. In most cases, the OR staff working the case does the cleaning, with an assist from floaters roaming the hallways or hanging (hiding?) out in the lounge. “It’s everyone’s job, from anesthesia to RNs to techs to nurse’s aides,” says Kathleen Tafoya, RN, the clinical nurse manager of the Saginaw (Mich.) Valley Endoscopy Center.

Today’s ORs aren’t sitting idle for very long between cases. Of the 84 facilities we surveyed, 25 reported sub-10-minute turnover times, 21 reported 10- to 15-minute turnovers and another 14 said they were ready for the next patient in 15 to 20 minutes. Not bad. But you’re not alone if you wouldn’t mind seeing your ORs turned over a minute or 2 faster. (Note: We define turnover as the time from patient-out to patient-in.)

“There is always room for improvement,” says Danielle DeWolfe, BSN, the clinical manager of the Surgery Center of Chevy Chase (Md.). “Yes, they could always be better,” adds Beth Herring, RN, MSN, CNOR, the OR educator at River Oaks Hospital in Jackson, Miss., who says managers shouldn’t be afraid to pitch in by mopping a room, making a bed or removing dirty bags. “Work waits for no one. Everyone’s hand fits a mop.”

Maureen Simpson, CNOR, the nurse manager of the OR and PACU at the Rye (N.Y.) Ambulatory Surgery Center, agrees that you should all lend a hand. “On busy patient days I try to put the administrative part of my job aside and stay in the OR to facilitate the turnovers,” she says.

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