Top 3 Benefits of a Flip Room

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At Maine General Medical Center, the largest freestanding outpatient center in the state of Maine, Monica Morin, RN, and her unit were challenged to develop a strategy to maximize the number of cases seen while adhering to limited hours. Surgeons said they needed more space as well as more efficient turnover time to accommodate their caseload.

That’s when Morin started researching flip rooms. “It’s a concept in which two operating rooms are designated for one surgeon to run back to back,” she explains. That way, the surgeon can start their next case with less downtime during room turnover and patients can be discharged faster. This practice has resulted in Morin’s unit operating at 118% productivity and top-rated patient satisfaction surveys, “which is a win-win for [the surgeon] and us, but then especially for the patient,” she says. 

But increased productivity and happy patients aren’t the only perks of a flip room—here are three more benefits Morin shares.

  1. More Cases Accommodated. With less turnover time, Morin’s unit was able to revamp its surgical schedule to welcome more surgeons, give them more block time, and schedule more cases in a day.

  2. Prevent Surgeon Backlog. With more block time, surgeons stay on top of their surgery schedules and avoid having to cancel office appointments to play catch-up.

  3. Timeliness for the Patient. Patients are seen sooner and discharged earlier so they can return home to recover. As a result, Morin’s unit has received an A-plus patient satisfaction rating.

Morin also learned in her time implementing a flip room that it benefits both acute care and ambulatory care. She found the practice gave nurses a chance to refocus and avoid rushing between back-to-back surgeries. Finally, the hospital administration was happy to see an increase in case volume, streamlined turnover, and happier patients.