Same-Day Surgery Manager

Things I'm gonna change in 2008

By Stephen W. Earnhart, MS
CEO
Earnhart & Associates
Austin, TX

Now that we've started a new year, let's have no more resolutions. We're going to do something different this year. We are going to change our behavior (oh, yes, completely different from resolutions!) in areas that scream for attention. Let me make some suggestions:

• Surgeons:

If I have an investment in a surgery center, then I will do my cases there (as I said I would in the beginning).

I will not sneak in the operating room, late for my case, and then complain that everyone else is late.

I will not lie about the length of the case when I post it.

I will not book a case at 8 p.m. and pretend it is an emergency. (We all know that it isn't by now.)

I will fork out some money at least once a quarter for donuts to replace the ones I eat when I think no one notices.

I will not say the "F-Word" in mixed company.

I will not play opera music in the operating room so everyone will think I am cultured.

I will walk up to one member of the staff and thank them for something, anything!

• Anesthesia:

I will clean up my own area between cases.

I will pay attention when wheeling the stretcher to PACU.

I will not complain about anything for one hour in 2008.

I will help the staff turn over the room at least once in 2008.

I will not drag out the case so the next case goes into another room.

I will thank the staff for cleaning up my area between cases.

I will not take the last cookie or the last cup of coffee in the lounge.

I will walk up to one member of the staff and thank them for something, anything!

• OR Nurses:

I will not roll my eyes at the surgeon during the case.

I will not clean up after anesthesia.

I will not drag out the case so the next case goes to the other OR.

I will be nice to the new nurse.

I will not spread rumors that I know don't have a merit of truth to them.

I will not eat someone else's food from the fridge.

I will complete the chart before I get to PACU.

I will walk up to one member of the staff and thank them for something, anything!

• PACU staff:

I will not laugh openly at the new surgeon.

I will not call members of the anesthesia staff names.

I will smile when I take report from the OR nurse.

I will rise to a higher level when I accept a patient with an incomplete chart.

I will not retch with my patients.

I will not question the surgeon's orders while laughing.

I will be courteous to the patient's family even though . . .

I will walk up to one member of the staff and thank them for something, anything!

• Reception desk:

No matter how provoked I am, I will not tell someone to learn how to spell.

I will smile though my heart is breaking.

I will not blog during business hours.

I will always be kind to children and their parents.

I will learn the names of the surgeons.

I will interact with the staff more.

I will not chew gum when patients are at the desk.

I will walk up to one member of the staff and thank them for something, anything!

It is going to be a fantastic year! Enjoy it.

(Earnhart & Associates is an ambulatory surgery consulting firm specializing in all aspects of surgery center development and management. Contact Earnhart at 1000 Westbank Drive, Suite 5B, Austin, TX 78746. E-mail: searnhart@earnhart.com. Web: www.earnhart.com.)