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Surgery Suite to Support Safety

June 1, 2006
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CHW Sacramento-area hospitals identify real time clinical documentation and robust reporting as essential.

Patient safety was a key con-sideration when selecting a surgical management system for five Sacramento-area hospitals which are part of San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), after the organization's existing system from Alpharetta, Ga.-based McKesson was sunset. However, sticking with the same vendor was not a given, says project leader Cindy Mayo, chief nursing officer at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento.Cindy mayo

On the contrary, selection of McKesson's Horizon Surgery Manager (HSM) was made by a surgical council after reviewing several vendor demos. The council, of which Mayo is executive sponsor, includes OR managers and directors from all hospitals in the integrated healthcare system. First and foremost in council members’ minds is patient safety, says Mayo, and this product allows the organization to ensure and document in real time the patient safety attributes that it's concerned about in surgery.

“There are multiple consumer and regulatory agencies looking after patient safety in the surgery area, and it's important that we do that well. The documentation program allows us to do that in real time,” she adds.

Implementation began in February and all the sites are expected to be live with the system — which will automate the entire surgical scheduling process from pre-surgery to post-anesthesia care — by February ’07. The project also includes integrating the organization's clinical documentation with Kansas City-based Cerner's electronic medical record system.

When considering purchasing such a system, “Start with the patient — and patient safety — and expand out from there,” says Mayo. When it is understood what patient safety pieces are wanted in the system, then consider the reporting capabilities. And perhaps most importantly, involve the right people in the decision-making process, she adds.

Author Information:

Charlene Marietti

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