Faster Turnaround, Long-Lasting Results
The Sustained Change Initiative at Thibodaux Regional Health System
Thibodaux Regional Health System launched an improvement initiative that
combined Lean, Six Sigma® and modeling tools. In five months, a multi-disciplinary
team supported by the GE Healthcare Performance Solutions team dramatically
improved Operating room (OR) turnover and enhanced the work culture.
The Thibodaux Regional team used nine months of data to set baselines for
two key metrics:
- Surgeon “close to cut” time for surgeon turnaround
- Patient “wheels out to wheels in” time for OR turnaround
Early on, the project team designated an OR flow coordinator charged with keeping
the OR on schedule: contacting surgeons, coordinating calls, and synchronizing
staff and transport.
They also increased block scheduling: grouping surgery types to minimize
instrument changing and enabling surgeons to perform back-to-back procedures.
Other key initiatives included:
- A medication management system that made medications more readily available
in the OR and PACU
- Workflow changes that streamlined room turnovers
- Involving staff in developing solutions to raise the standard of care and
Once the changes were in place, the OR saw continuous improvement. The
level of satisfaction among surgeons is higher because of this project.
They appreciate the rapid changes made and the way everyone worked together.
Even more important, the project taught us how to solve problems. We are
applying lessons we learned as a core group that now meets regularly to
continuously improve our perioperative services.
“The project brought together the multiple disciplines within the
OR and provided a vehicle for surgeon leadership to quickly, efficiently
and positively improve the OR operation," said CEO Greg Stock.