Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Back To Work - June 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 85 of 116

"I really don't know what we would have done without the new software to get all of the alerts out to patients," says Keli Hite McGee, MA, the facility's administrator. "We would have been on the phone with patients and staff all day and night just to update them, which would have been tremendously more difficult than the texts we were able to push out." 1. Improved communication When the virus first hit, the facility's staff used the app to update patients scheduled for emergent procedures who were pre-screened for COVID-19 within 48 hours of their surgeries. Now that the center is expanding its phased reopening, text messages are sent to patients' loved ones who must wait in their vehicles instead of the waiting room. Escorts receive an alert when patients enter the OR, a second when they arrive in the PACU and a third when it's time to drive to the facility's front door to pick them up. The innovative patient engagement software provided plenty of ben- efits even before the COVID-19 crisis, according to Rachel Piszczek, BSN, RN, CNOR, the center's director of nursing. Two full-time nurses pre-registered patients, a process that included gathering and review- ing health histories and confirming patients were cleared to undergo surgery during a pre-op phone call. Now, patients complete their medical histories through an online portal well in advance of their procedures instead of relaying the information a couple days before they show up for surgery. Thanks to the patient portal, only one nurse needs to be on pre-registration duty, freeing the other for more direct clinical work. Plus, pre-op assess- ments are more thorough. The nurse who pre-registers patients reads through the information they submit and has enough time to identify red flags and address issues that in the past could have caused cases 8 6 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U N E 2 0 2 0

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