Ideas That Work


Internet Access in the Waiting Room

Melonie Marchak, RN, BSN Internet Access in the Waiting Room
As a convenience to those who escort patients to our endoscopy center, we created a small workstation in our waiting area. While friends or family members are having surgery, people with laptop computers can dial-up their Internet provider and check their e-mail or browse the Web.

John Gleason
Berks Center for Digestive Health
writeMail("[email protected]")

RMV->)Reduce red bag waste
Educating our nurses is the key to cutting our red bag disposal expenses. Many of our nurses put anything that touched the patient's skin into red bag waste, but OSHA regulations say that only items that have drips of blood or dried blood that could flake off constitute red bag waste. We've gone from spending $20,000 a year in disposal costs to $4,000.

Deb Leib
Susquehanna Valley Surgery Center
writeMail("[email protected]")

Melonie Marchak, RN, BS\N

Switch to flex hours
Our staff works flex hours to meet the needs of the surgery schedule. If surgery starts later, they come in later. It eliminates a lot of overtime.

Carolyn Evec, RN, CNOR
The Surgery Center of Beaufort (S.C.)
writeMail("[email protected]")

Getting malpractice insurance
We received several good leads on malpractice insurance carriers by contacting hospitals to find out who their carriers are. We figured hospitals probably have someone working full-time on the problem and are more aggressive in getting insurance coverage than most doctors' offices.

Robert Skalicky
Business Manager
Bucks County (Pa.) Plastic Surgery Center
writeMail("[email protected]")

Want a free Outpatient Surgery T-shirt?

Share your money-saving ideas with Outpatient Surgery Magazine's readers. If we publish your idea, we'll send you a free T-shirt. E-mail your tips to writeMail("[email protected]").

Please include your name, title, the name of your facility, mailing address and your T-shirt size.

Post an OR organizational chart
We recently wrote detailed job descriptions for each of our staff positions and posted them in the common areas. Once everyone could see an organized plan and each individual's role, our ORs began moving more efficiently.

Kathie Wheeler, RN
OR Manager
New Hanover Regional Medical Center
writeMail("[email protected]")

Frugal footwear
Rather than buying slippers for our eye patients that can cost a couple of dollars a pair, we have our patients wear shoe covers over their own shoes. This saves time and money.

Andrea Hyatt
Dulaney Eye Institute
writeMail("[email protected]")

Fast-track cataract patients
We send cataract patients who have not received sedation directly back to their hospital room after surgery, rather than to the recovery room. The hospital saves time and money because recovery room nurses aren't tied up with as many patients. The fast-track system is for patients who receive a topical anesthetic, or a topical with up to 1 mg of Versed.

Debra Mason, RN, CNOR
Director of Staff Development
Doctors Hospital
writeMail("[email protected]")

Don't discard drugs from multidose vials
The "sacred cow" of automatically discarding multidose vials that have been opened for more than 30 days is without sound scientific basis. If you use aseptic technique consistently, you may use an uncontaminated multidose vial of medication until the manufacturer's expiration date. It's important that you store the vials according to the manufacturer's specifications (refrigerate, for example). This is the standard the American Society of Anesthesiologists uses and is consistent with CDC Guidelines.

Jane Louden
Associate Vice President of Surgery Programs
NovaMed Eyecare, Inc.
writeMail("[email protected]")

Related Articles

September 21, 2022

Surgical instruments that are of poor quality or improperly maintained can fail during procedures, an alarming occurrence that jeopardizes outcomes...

Behind Closed Doors: What Went Wrong?

For the past decade, I’ve written my column on resolutions I planned to make in the New Year, the many well-intentioned goals I can never seem to keep. But this year I thought I’d try something different....

Infection Control: How Clean Is Your Water?

My hospital’s sterile processing department is responsible for turning around 1,500 instrument trays a day, and we take every measure possible to ensure...