Author: Sarah Masters

Who would have thought that one sad day, our surgical cases would all go away For a terrible virus struck our great land, and forced on us a very dirty hand   Our community was suddenly gravely ill, forcing too many to be forever still This deadly disease came on like the plague, how could the symptoms be so vague?   Hearts were breaking and tears overflowed, how scared we all were, nobody could know So the surgery stopped but the care lived on, in the hearts and hands of everyone   From many departments we had to send, our Perioperative Team to lend a hand!   A flight of OR...

The first time Cameo Gore got her first taste of the motivational speaking bug was during a staff meeting she was leading as Director of Surgical Services at a top-ranked children’s hospital.  First, she noticed the new energy moving inside her staff afterward that led to more positivity, take-charge attitudes, and outside-of-the-box approaches to challenges in the OR. Then people began coming into her office to personally thank her for believing in them and offering a new perspective on how they can achieve a goal or solve a problem.  “Those moments offered proof that something good is happening here,” Gore says. “People need to be believed in. All that they need is that little nugget...

In the early days of the COVID pandemic, the Directors of Surgical Services who managed both a hospital and an ASC (Ambulatory Surgical Center) were placed in a unique position. They had choices that their counterparts in charge of just one type of facility did not have. How were decisions made for “edge cases” during the peak of the pandemic, especially when it was uncertain when a vaccine would come into play? We spoke with directors that faced those very challenges and share the solutions that worked best.   A Game of Tetris  Working in one of the states with the strictest shutdowns, Mara Rosalsky, Executive Director of Perioperative Services at the University of California, Irvine, decided to move overnight and complicated outpatient...

If your newly promoted Director of Surgical Services fails to answer or scores below 70% on this quiz, consider hiring a mentoring Consultant.   1. How do you promote clear communication with your team? Within thefirst30 days, have individual meetings with each staff member as a meet and greet. Monthlyrounding with each staff member (can be a shared task with the rest of the leadership team) Show staff that the leadership team can walk in the staff member’s shoes. Establishmonthlyor quarterly“a walk in your shoes” With a staff member from a different department and shadow that employee for an hour.   2. Do you...

Hospital Operating Rooms are finding surveys more stressful than ever before with the risk of reduced reimbursement and potential shutdowns threatening their balance sheet. Don't let your Operating Room be caught unprepared. Focus on these five common ways your perioperative services can rob you of a good night's rest.   1. Policies and Procedures Will be reviewed in the areas of validation, best practices, regulations, and recommended guidelines to meet survey measures. Gap analysis ad brainstorming huddles will be a component of the consultant's role. New policy drafts are prepared for facility review and approvals may be the role of the consultant. 2. Quality/Infection...

When David Taylor and his wife began a plant-based diet nine years ago, they quickly realized how absolute the lifestyle change was.  After gradually removing fish, eggs, and cheese from their diets, they ran into difficulty finding restaurants that could accommodate meals without animal products. Desserts were the trickiest, as most contain eggs, the gold standard for texture in baked goods. A further complication: Taylor just happened to have a love for ice cream and the idea of rarely eating it did not sit well with him.  So, he began tinkering.  Emboldened by what he learned in an ice cream making course in Austin, TX, Taylor decided to take on an incredible challenge: making delicious, creamy, premium, plant-based ice...

So, your hospital accreditation site visit is coming up in a year or two. Do you feel prepared? Yes? But are you really? What if you had a simple list of items you could reference to double-check that? You’re in luck, you are holding that list in your very hand (or, on your computer).   A trio of highly experienced surveyors, Kathy Beydler, RN, MBA, CNOR, CASC; Rosie Ross, RN, BS-HCA, MBA; and Phil Meyer, RN, MHA, BSN, RNFA, highlight nine areas outlined below that may need a second look or extra attention before the day of your site visit.    1. Preparing for Survey vs. Maintaining Preparedness for Surveys  Some facilities may engage in a flurry of activity to prepare their accreditation survey. It’s best to approach survey preparedness as a process that is ongoing and continuous, not a...

Kathy W. Beydler and Whitman Partners Launch Survey Survival Guide for Perioperative Professionals Contains up-to-date information on best practices and industry expectations PORTLAND, Oregon – March 3, 2021 – Whitman Partners, a surgical services search firm, has partnered with Kathy W. Beydler, interim perioperative leader, keynote speaker, and consultant, to publish The Survey Survival Guide: Pocket Guide to Survey Success. Beydler wrote the guide to serve as a step-by-step refresher containing valuable information hospital and surgery center surveyors are looking for and a reminder to staff and leadership to highlight the good work they are already doing.  “Leadership outside the red line doesn’t always know or understand what is happening behind the redline and that can make a facility vulnerable to deficiencies. My goals are to...

An Interim Director of Surgical Services is familiar with unpredictability. In a new assignment, the needs of the OR, often disparate, compete for their attention. Prioritizing what to execute first is a delicate balancing act. Throw a pandemic into the mix and those challenges can be magnified 1000x.  How have evolving expectations during a global health crisis affected interim leadership? A handful of interims share their thoughts.  How the Specter of COVID has changed surgery  During the early stages of the pandemic, elective surgeries shut down. However, earnings from surgeries can be as high as 65% of a hospital’s revenue. Waiting for a vaccine was not financially feasible. In response, organizations had to create policies to safely handle COVID patients when they enter the OR.  “Many facilities did not, and some...

Here at Whitman Partners, we are frequently asked to include diverse candidates in our Directors of Surgical Services pool. As a result, we’ve adopted the mindset that “every search is a diversity search.” It’s a good policy, but is it enough? Unfortunately, the data tells a different story. The Institute for Diversity in Health Management (IFDHE), an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, shows that the percentage of minorities in healthcare executive positions is low: 11%. In first and mid-level management positions, the numbers aren’t much better: 19%.   So last year, prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests, we launched our...