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Cost Qual Q J. 1997 Apr;3(2):48-57.

Re-engineering surgical services in a community teaching hospital.

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Grace Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.


The Grace Hospital Surgical Services redesign project began in December 1995 and concluded in November 1996. It was led by the Chief of Surgery, the Surgical/Anesthesia Services Director, and the Associate Director of Critical Care/Trauma. The project was undertaken in order to radically redesign the delivery of surgical services in the Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Northwest Region. It encompassed the Grace Hospital Main Operating Room (10 operating theatres) and Post-Anesthesia Recovery Unit, and a satellite Ambulatory Surgery Center in Southfield, Michigan. The four areas of focus were materials management, case scheduling, patient flow/staffing, and business planning. The guiding objectives of the project were to improve upon the quality of surgical services for patients and physicians, to substantially reduce costs, and to increase case volume. Because the Grace Surgical Services redesign project was conducted in a markedly open communicative, and inclusive fashion and drew participation from a broad range of medical professionals, support staff, and management, it created positive ripple effects across the institution by raising staff cost-consciousness, satisfaction, and morale. Other important accomplishments of the project included: Introduction of block scheduling in the ORs, which improved room utilization and turnaround efficiencies, and greatly smoothed the boarding process for physicians. Centralization of all surgical boarding, upgrading of computer equipment to implement "one call" surgery scheduling, and enlarging the capacity for archiving, managing and retrieving OR data. Installation of a 23-hour, overnight recovery unit and provision of physician assistants at the Ambulatory Surgery Center, opening the doors to an expanded number of surgical procedures, and enabling higher quality care for patients. Reduction of FTE positions by 27 percent at the Ambulatory Surgery Center. This yielded a total cost reduction of +1.5 million per annum in the annual budget of +10.3 million; Recruited 10 new podiatrists and increased the volume of cases brought to Northwest Region facilities by surgical specialists. This added 100 cases in 1996, and is projected to add 500 cases in 1997. A 14.5 percent reduction in the cost of operating the Surgical Services was achieved. This was accompanied by enhanced staff morale, physician satisfaction and a higher quality of patient care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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