Cataract surgeries are commonplace at Andersen Eye Surgery Center in Saginaw, Mich., so nearly all of the patients the staff care for are well into their autumn years. The senior population presents several challenges, but Anderson Eye’s entire staff excels at making patients feel like they’re the only ones undergoing surgery — no small feat in a facility that runs a high-volume specialty. The proof, as it were, isn’t in the pudding. Grateful patients have returned to the center days after procedures with plates full of cookies to show their appreciation for the quality care they received.
The staff’s willingness to go the extra mile for each one of their patients makes them the winner of the OR Excellence Award for Patient Satisfaction. “We all get along, and patients notice and appreciate that,” says Heather Hazen, RN, BSN, the center’s director. “We constantly strive to provide patients with the best possible experience during the few hours they spend with us.”
The staff makes sure to establish a rapport with patients as soon as they arrive. “In pre-op, we provide them with warm blankets and written information about their surgery,” says Ms. Hazen.
Patients are not fully sedated for cataract cases, so surgery can be a nerve-wracking experience. During procedures, a member of the surgical team often holds the patient’s hand to comfort them. Patients are also able to pick the music that plays during their procedures to help make the environment more soothing.
After procedures, patients are taken back to post-op where they’re greeted with the familiar face of the nurse who prepared them for surgery. They’re offered a variety of snacks and drinks while they recover and, at the end of their visit, receive a bouquet of flowers as well as handwritten cards from their surgeon and the staff. “The patients are always surprised and thankful to receive the flowers and cards,” says Ms. Hazen.