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Archive December 2016 XVII, No. 12

Streamline Room Turnover

How to ready your ORs faster — consistently, completely and without cutting corners.

Dan Dunkin, Associate Editor


turnover THE NEED FOR SPEED It helps to envision your turnover team like a pit stop crew.

Is room turnover at your facility a well-choreographed performance or a chaotic fire drill, with staff crisscrossing the room and repeating tasks that have already been performed or, worse yet, not completing a required cleaning step because they thought it had already been done? Check out how a few of your colleagues have reduced their turnover times.

1. NASCAR pit crew
In nothing flat, a NASCAR pit crew leaves nothing undone. No wasted time, no wasted motion, they get in, they get out so the racer can get on his way. Each team member focuses on a specific area: one attending to each tire, one fueling the car, another wiping the windshield. Could the pit-crew concept help turn over an operating room? It sure has at Enloe Outpatient Center in Chico, Cal., where each of the 4-member turnover team is assigned a zone, says Teresa Wahl, CRCST, manager of sterile processing.

Zone 1 covers the bed to the booms, the lights, booms, IV poles and bed wiped with a disinfectant. Zone 2 comprises the perimeter of the room, including the prep stand, circulator station, ring stand, back tables and kick buckets. Zone 3 entails mopping, stocking towels and pillowcases, and taking the trash and used linens to a pickup point near the door. Zone 4 is the anesthesia area, disposing of used circuits, tubing and canisters, and wiping the machine with disinfectant.

"We did that so people wouldn't forget to take care of everything in their particular zone, like a pit crew," says Ms. Wahl. "We didn't want anyone worried about anyone else's zone; just their own zone."

Why only 4 members of the turnover team? "With more than 4, it's just chaos and confusion," says Ms. Wahl. "Before, we had 6 people asking each other, 'Did you get this?' People were running into each other during room turnover, uncertain as to who was doing what, what was getting done and what wasn't. Some things were duplicated, others weren't getting done. So the rule became we could have no more than 4 people in the OR getting it ready."

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