Q&A with Kandy DeWitt of HealthPark Medical Center

Q&A with Kandy DeWitt of HealthPark Medical Center

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | March 27, 2014
Kandy DeWitt
From the March 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Before HealthPark Medical Center put together their hybrid OR, they first put together a process to ensure the project ran smoothly and resulted in success. DOTmed HealthCare Business News spoke with Kandy Dewitt, Associate Director Surgical and Obstetrical Services, for HealthPark to learn more.

HCBN: Planning a hybrid OR and hammering out the room setup obviously involves everybody, from anesthesiologists to architects. What was your plan for making sure everyone was on the same page — or rather, in the same room?

KDW: We took an inclusive approach for the project from the beginning. We included everyone on the invitation list starting with the first meeting. It was evident early in the process that everyone was willing to put in the time, and the engaged stakeholders were there throughout the process.

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HCBN: Interventional procedures involve a great deal of planning and collaboration between different specialties — what was your process for ensuring these teams worked smoothly together?

KDW: We determined early on that we wanted a limited number of high functioning team members so during the interview process, we asked for a two-year commitment before bringing in additional staff. We wanted to develop the team and process to give our patients the best possible outcomes. In terms of physician relationships, we started talking about room utilization very early on, what types of cases had priority, and how we wanted to assign blocks for the elective cases. It was critical for the entire team to have those conversations before the room was officially opened.

HCBN: On a related note, in terms of designating dedicated staff, what is your strategy for ensuring that there is continuity in workflow and systems operation among nurses and technologists you may have to share with other ORs?

KDW: We were fortunate to be very busy as soon as we went live with hybrid procedures. We have done some cross training to bring additional staff into the hybrid suite when needed as well as using some of the hybrid staff in other areas that can make use of their particular skill set.

HCBN: How did you approach selecting technology/equipment and contracts for the room?

KDW: We had a few physicians who had trained on different technologies and had varying opinions on what they wanted. We brought key stakeholders on site visits and brought in the vendors to meet with the team. In the end, it was a group decision. There were many factors that weighed into the final decision, but it was well-supported by the participants and the health system.

HCBN: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned through implementing this program that you’d like to impart to any hospitals thinking about taking a similar path?

KDW: For me personally, it was very important to be involved in the construction project because we were on a tight timeline. We held an in-person team meeting every Friday morning throughout the duration of the project that included the project manager, the chief administrator, facilities manager, surgeons, anesthesia, and the director of surgery. If there were any issues, they were discussed at that meeting. We were able to successfully navigate through situations that may have taken a much different route if we didn’t have that opportunity to make decisions in real time with the key decision makers present.


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