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Give your OR Manager this quiz before promoting them to Director of Surgical Services

April 20, 2021


Give your OR Manager this quiz before promoting them to Director of Surgical Services

If your newly promoted Director of Surgical Services fails to answer or scores below 70% on this quiz, consider hiring a mentoring Consultant.


1. How do you promote clear communication with your team?

  • Within thefirst30 days, have individual meetings with each staff member as a meet and greet.
  • Monthlyrounding with each staff member (can be a shared task with the rest of the leadership team)
  • Show staff that the leadership team can walk in the staff member’s shoes.
  • Establishmonthlyor quarterly“a walk in your shoes” With a staff member from a different department and shadow that employee for an hour.


2. Do you know how to create a culture of accountability?

  • Be sure to communicate the department metric goals, such as FCOTs, Turnover time,and scheduling accuracy.
  • Using shared governance, develop goals and plans to meet and exceed the established goals.
  • Communicate daily or weekly at minimum results from previous days metrics.
  • Create small awards for the team that has the highest percentage of on-time starts, lowest turnover time, etc.


3. Do you know how to develop effective relationships with surgeons and anesthesia?

  • Within the first quarter, make appointments with each surgeon or surgeon group in their offices as a meet and greet.
  • Create face time with the surgeons when they are in the OR to keep communication open.
  • Establish daily operational huddles that include anesthesia to manage the daily schedule and create communication to improve efficiencies.
  • Establish a smaller surgical advisory committee that consists of highly engaged surgeons and anesthesia that reports up to the department of surgery.


4. Do you know how to run effective huddles and staff meetings?

  • Huddles – Led by the person that runs the daily schedule, go over assignments, Patient needs, and instrument needs for each room.
  • Establish an Agenda. Provide previous months, financials from the previous month, what service lines are growing, what are not. Go over quality metrics, educational needs, policies.
  • Go over a policy of the month. Everyone must sign off and acknowledge that they understand the policy.
  • Service line reports on Ortho, General Surgery, etc. PAT and PreOp and PACU report out to the staff.
  • Invite surgeons to provide in-services to the team.


5. What does being a “team player” mean to you?

  • Be sure to offer breaks, lunches, turnover rooms, and put sets together in SPD. In fact, anything that shows expertise and teamwork.
  • Invite staff members to be a part of decision-making initiatives for the departments(shared governance)
  • Establish monthly individual rounds to determine needs and concerns.

6. How would you determine the current state and most pressing needs of each department?

  • Spend at minimum one day in each department to learn their processes and observe individual practice.
  • During daily, weekly and monthly rounding ask questions of the teams to hear what is the most challenging issues they are facing
  • Follow up, follow up, and follow up with any issues brought to your attention!

7. Do you know how to read data and make actionable plans to address issues?

  • Monitor daily turnaround times from the previous day, the first case on-time starts, overtime data per pay period, actual instrument spend in SPD.
  • Learn income statements and market share reports.
  • Know and understand block utilization, total prime time OR utilization, and per surgeon usage in and outside of blocks.

8. Do you know how to establish the agenda and tone for administration with the leadership team and physicians?

  • Create a culture of accountability. Set expectations for performance from day one.
  • Establish required metrics for optimum performance daily and communicate these to the entire team and anesthesia and surgeons.
  • Hold people accountable to the established requirements.
  • Revisit metrics and revise as necessary to maintain performance.

9. Can you describe how to run an efficient and safe Sterile Processing Department?

  • Join all SPD professional organizations to assure best practices.
  • Consider obtaining SPD certification and/or manager certifications.
  • Know and understand all regulatory requirements for SPD practice.

10. How would you determine staffing needs for each individual area?

  • For the operating room and for sterile processing and PACU, use the AORN staffing tool. It will take time, but it’s accurate.
  • Compare current core staffing with proposedAORN recommendations and then look at past year historical volume to establish staffing, call, education requirements, and PTO.
  • Set up a meeting with CNO/COO/CFO to compare current core staffing with proposed.


Contact Whitman Partners for your interest in bringing a Recognized Expert Consultant to your facility.