Many challenges exist in running an OR, but running it well adds great value to the financial well-being of a hospital, the satisfaction of surgeons, and most importantly, the proper care of patients. Sometimes taking a fresh look at an OR is necessary to address the ever-changing challenges of surgical processes and procedures. For a hospital, the average consulting project costs about $50,000. While consultation is extremely valuable, many small hospitals cannot afford to bring in consultants. A great alternative for getting new ideas and exposure to proven solutions on a limited budget is attending a Sullivan Healthcare perioperative leadership seminar. Randy Heiser, President of Sullivan Healthcare Consulting, says seminars allow hospitals to be exposed to many of the same solutions that Sullivan Healthcare would recommend as consultants, for a much lower price. Having the benefit of many years of perioperative analysis and consultation, Heiser is confident Sullivan Healthcare’s advice works: “We’re working with common problems and proven solutions that are patient-centric, surgeon-friendly, and cost-effective to fix those problems. We’re giving hospitals real-life examples of how to implement change.”
Fifty percent of those who attend the seminars are OR directors; 10-15 percent are C-Suite; and the rest are surgeons, anesthesiologists, and front-line managers. “We’ve had hospitals that have brought their entire surgery leadership teams, so everyone hears the same message at the same time,” Heiser says. “Most hospitals are not running as well as they could be. They have leadership that grew up in the OR,” he says. While that experience in the OR is important to the decision-making process, most OR experience is personnel-specific. Individuals often know how to improve a specific facet of the OR, but do not know how to run a great OR.
Other seminars are nursing- or executive-specific, but Sullivan Healthcare has its eyes on the whole surgical experience at once. “No one else really says, ‘Here is how you run a hospital to benefit the surgeons or the staff or more importantly, the patient.’ It’s one particular group benefiting, not the entire OR.”
Sullivan Healthcare knows how the overall OR experience has changed and what the current problems and proven solutions are. Heiser speaks at the seminars, as do leading consultants in the field who are successfully implementing changes in the OR. The consultants have the experience of hundreds of projects to share, and have been able to track changing OR needs. Fifteen years ago the big challenge facing ORs was selecting and improving information systems. Now they are automated. Ten years ago the issue was team nursing. Hospitals have now moved to addressing issues with patient throughput and efficiency. Today the biggest challenges facing ORs are block scheduling and capacity management; governance and being able to sustain change; and SPD and patient throughput. Sullivan Healthcare understands and addresses current issues and brings a comprehensive observation over time as problems evolve and change. Heiser sums up the seminar’s benefit as, “…actionable improvements that have proven themselves in other hospitals. We’ve seen the results. These are hard and fast recommendations and changes that work.”
He also points out that hospitals use seminar advice from years ago even now. “We were just contacted by a hospital that had attended a seminar in Hilton Head eight years ago. They’re still using our information, but they wanted to know how to implement that advice today.” Sullivan Healthcare was able to help, using the same principles it has always used: examining the new challenges hospitals face and using proven strategies to solve problems and create a great OR experience for the hospital, the staff, and most importantly, the patient.