News / Periop Café

June 2019 Director of Surgical Services News Roundup, Part 1

June 13, 2019


June 2019 Director of Surgical Services News Roundup, Part 1

Since the beginning of the month, we saw many partnerships forged, people promoted, and robots acquired. Read on to see the first part of June 2019 director of surgical services news.

Olympic Medical Center plans to improve surgical services, ER, and more

Olympic Medical Center, in Port Angeles, Washington, created a plan to reduce ER wait times and improve their facilities. Eric Lewis, CEO of the hospital, presented this news in a meeting on May 30.

Currently, abysmal wait times of over 202 minutes are common. Part of Lewis’ plan involves bringing the average wait time down to a more managable 45 minutes or less through expanding immediate care services.

Additionally, to alleviate crowding, the hospital plans to add 13 extra beds of different types, including the creation of more private rooms. Moreover, Lewis explained improvements to expand the capacity of surgical services. In addition to adding two new operating rooms, one C-section room, and one endoscopy room, he also wishes to hire several news surgeons and gastroenterologists.

Unfortunately, OMC put other expansion plans on hold, much to the dismay of the residents of Sequim, Washington, where they were to take place. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cut funding 60% for off-site clinics, which affected plans to expand Sequim Primary Care and Sequim Outpatient Surgery Project. Presently, it can take nearly a half hour to get from Sequim to the OMC hospital in Port Angeles – a long time if you are suffering from a medical emergency.

Original story can be found here and here.

Surgery center and hospital partnerships – Part 1, Athens, Georgia

Two Athens, Georgia healthcare instutitions agreed to a new partnership to bring improved surgical services to the community. Leaders at both Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center and Surgery Center of Athens look forward to what this alliance will bring to the table.

The strengths of both entities coming together brings good news for the citizens of Athens. “Patients who receive surgical treatments at [Surgery Center of Athens] will now benefit from the great coordination of care that this partnership provides,” said the administrator for the surgery center, Kemberly Mixon.

Original story can be found here.

Surgery center and hospital partnerships – Part 2, Eastern Idaho

In more partnership news, Skyline Surgery Center in Pocatello, Idaho entered an agreement with three hospitals to provide joint medical services. Previously, the center worked with only Bingham Memorial Hospital, a critical-access hospital in Blackfoot, Idaho. However, they felt it would improve patients’ access to care to bring both Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Portneuf Medical Center, also in Pocatello, into the fold.

With this partnership, patients at any of the three hospitals can access care at Skyline Surgery Center. Skyline is a multi-speciality ASC, offering orthopedic and spine procedures, oral and dental surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, and more.

Having the ability to receive surgical treatments at the ASC brings down medical costs for patients. This is the first option of its kind for the eastern Idaho community.

Original story can be found here.

Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii educates public about robotic surgeries

Dr. Steven Nishida, General Surgeon and Chair of the Robotics Committee at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, recently spoke on KHON News about the hospital’s robotic surgical services. Proudly, he mentioned that the facility has done over 10,000 cases of robotic surgery since the program’s inception in 2007.

The surgical services department’s most recent acquisition is a brand new Da Vinci SP robot. The SP stands for single port – meaning four devices (a camera and three arms) can be used in just a single incision point. The Queen’s Medical Center is only the 19th hospital in the country to receive the Da Vinci SP.

Dr. Nishida explained that eight percent of prostate tumor removal procedures performed nationwide use robotic surgery. Advantages to using a robot include a magnified stereoscopic view, fluorescence imaging, precise movement, more complete removal, less pain, and quicker patient recovery. Robots assist in myriad types of surgeries, including tumor removal from many parts of the body as well as hernia repair.

Original story can be found here.

Overlook Medical Center Nurse finds creative way to reduce surgical waste

Waste seems inevitable in an industry where keeping tools sterile saves lives. However, given the world’s increasing ecological problems, paying attention to ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle is important.

Experts estimate 20-30% of hospital waste comes from surgical services. One piece of the problem stems from single-use surgical blue wrap used to keep tool sterile. However, Tami Ochs, a nurse at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey, realized she could turn the wraps into tote bags. Patients then use the tote bags to store their belongings.

Not only does this help the environment, it also helps the hospital save money. Replacing the tote bags with these recycled bags reduced costs by $30,000 annually. Additionally, it saved 100,000 single-use plastic bags landfills. The hospital estimates that they use 15,000 pounds of blue wrap per year.

Original story can be found here.

Halifax Regional Medical Center now a part of Vidant Health

In other partnership news, Halifax Regional Medical Center in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, announced on June 1 that the hospital is now a part of Vidant Health. This agreement brings HRMC on as the ninth hospital to Vidant’s roster.

The final name of hospital is still under consideration. It will be revealed in a community celebration in the fall, after gathering input from the community and stakeholders. Both parties are happy to be bringing high-quality medical care to rural areas of North Carolina.

Original story can be found here.

Hudson Regional Hospital upgrades surgical services department

Over the past 18 months, Hudson Regional Hospital in Seacaucus, New Jersey, has gone through a series of upgrades, including many in surgical services. The improvements will increase patient satisfaction, ease of access, and quality of care.

The surgical services department received two new robotic devices for minimally invasive spine, gynecologic, and urologic procedures. This is part of the hospital’s overall plan to emphasize minimally invasive surgery options for patients. Additionally, the facility welcomed a new bariatric surgery program.

Original story can be found here.

Congratulations to:

Angela Logan, new CNO at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital in Angola, Indiana

Julia Martin, promoted from interim to permanent OR Manager at Melissa Memorial Hospital in Holyoke, Colorado

Dr. Robert Zwolak, new Chief of Surgical Services for Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire