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Archive November 2013 XIV, No. 11

Secrets to Speedier Room Turnover

The sooner you can start the next case, the better.

Dan O

Dan O'Connor, Editor-in-Chief


turnover team MEASURED STEPS The dance of the turnover team should be closely choreographed.

In the quest to run an efficient surgical facility, you're always looking to shave seconds off your turnover times so you can start the next case sooner and squeeze another case onto the schedule, all in the hopes of keeping your ORs hopping and your surgeons happy. Last month we went searching for the secrets to rapid turnover times.

Before we get to the how, however, let's first address the who. As in, who should be on your turnover team? Should it be an all-hands-on-deck mad dash to ready the room for the next case, or is it better to form a dedicated platoon of turnover specialists who are on cleanup duty all shift long? Everyone's job, or the job of a few good men and women? Let the debate begin.

Turnover is everyone's job
"Everyone is the turnover team," says Jenna Pon, ADN, BSN, administrator of the Outpatient Surgery Center of La Jolla (Calif.).

"No one is above helping with turnover," adds Kelly Wilson, RN, administrator of the Ponte Vedra (Fla.) Plastic Surgery Center. "Nurses, scrubs and techs all participate in turnovers. No one is too good to mop or wipe down equipment. Turnover is everyone's job."

Some facilities literally sound the alarm when a room's ready to be turned over, relaying via walkie-talkies that the procedure is finished, the patient is ready to be transferred and the room is ready to be turned over, or announcing on an overhead page that "Room 2 needs turnover help."

"No prima donnas. The entire room staff participates in the turnover and setup of the next case — even anesthesia," says Denise Wooten, ASN, RNFA, nurse manager of the Renue Surgery Center in Waycross, Ga.

"Even the doctors are involved and will walk or wheel the patients in and out of the OR while the rest of the team is turning over," says Mary Radke, RN, BSN, manager of the Dakota Surgery and Laser Center in Bismarck, N.D.

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