The highest performing ORs are those with low mortality rates and an overall commitment to patient safety. This is because the working environment must be optimal—and safe—to achieve high performance. When attention is dedicated to equipment design and function along with the subtleties of decision-making in a dynamic and often fluid situation, team communication is aptly supported. When it comes to patient safety, good communication yields positive outcomes.
How Surgical Practice Management Influences Patient Safety
At NexGen Surgical, patient safety guides our every decision. While some may presume surgical practice management companies are only concerned with efficiency and their bottom line, this is simply not the case for us. We recognize that healthcare providers can improve quality of care based on specific measures, such as reducing hospital readmissions, improving preventative care or reducing time spent in PACU. Our goal is to empower our surgeons to lead winning teams that adopt safe and accountable patient care models. When we make decisions about surgical schedules, staff assignments or other matters related to surgical practice management, patient safety is always top-of-mind.
How Surgeons Can Create Safe Surgical Environments
Surgeons carry tremendous responsibility in the OR. In addition to delivering hands-on patient care, surgeons influence culture and establish expectations for the OR team. Surgeons can directly influence an enhanced commitment to patient safety by:
- Identifying and correcting all errors—even the near-misses
- Using task reminders or checklists for routine, repetitive procedures
- Insisting on formal sign-outs of patients at shift changes
- Including and improving upon formal briefings and debriefings for every operation, as preoperative briefings have been shown to increase job satisfaction
- Encouraging “stop the line” communication in which every member of the team is empowered to speak up if they see something that appears out of the ordinary
Ultimately, all of these actions are rooted in foundations of communication. This is why NexGen Surgical is home to surgeons with excellent interpersonal communication skills in addition to outstanding clinical skills.
The Impact of Burnout on Patient Safety
Medical burnout is a serious issue among OR staff and surgeons, and NexGen is committed to doing our part to resolve it. Considering that burnout can result in tiredness, frequent headaches, distraction and withdrawal from responsibilities, it is absolutely a patient safety risk. Aside from empowering our surgeons to foster a culture of engagement among OR staff to reduce medical burnout, we have found that including surgeons early on in value-based care design plans greatly improves overall buy-in and implementation. We also promote a healthy work/life balance through our innovative practice model that allows surgeons to work only two weeks per month while enjoying no call during their time off. Choosing a surgical practice management company that recognizes the pitfalls of burnout and works hard to prevent it is important.
Linking Cost, Quality and Patient Safety
Value-based care (VBC) is expected to demand personalized care from all types of healthcare providers by 2025. Rather than the fee-for-service model that reimburses based on performed services, VBC will pay for health care services in ways that link cost, quality and patient’s experience of care. Transitioning to VBC poses an opportunity for facilities to separate themselves from competitors by demonstrating their ability to deliver reliable, safe, high-quality care at lower costs. If you are concerned that your existing surgical practice management service is posing a risk to your facility’s potential success in transitioning to VBC, consider transitioning to NexGen.
Call us today at 844.592.0802 to learn more about our approach to optimizing patient safety.