Dr. Clean: Shadowing an OR Custodian

If there’s one thing that Walk in My Shoes proves, it’s that every one of our employees at Henry Ford Hospital plays an important role in patient care. Not to mention, it really highlights what an incredibly talented and customer service-orientated team we have here.

This time around, I had the opportunity to shadow one of our dedicated operating room custodians, Katrina Walker.

Wasting no time, Katrina put me to work.

Mop in hand, Katrina showed me the proper cleaning techniques used in the OR. (I just hope my wife doesn’t see this and get any ideas).

In all seriousness, I hope everyone understands how hard this work is, physically demanding, on your feet, and orchestrating all the activities to keep the operating room flowing.

Similar to the actual surgeries, each case is treated differently, with different equipment and techniques used to clean each time. Katrina and her team religiously scrub each room for infection control purposes, giving repetitive attention to each crevice and necessary detail.

Not only do I admire Katrina’s dedication and spirit, but also the pure speed and efficiency at which she is able to work.

Did you know the custodians only have 3 to 5 minutes to turn over a room in the OR? Continue reading

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Day 3: The Complete Top 10 Health Care Issues in 2011 List

Here are the final three items on my list of the top things I expect to see in health care over the next year. 

I will stop at 10.

Which are on your mind? (Please post your comments, or your top 10 list below.)

 Top 10 List, Day 3:

1. Fight Over Health Care Reform
2. Transparency. Moving Toward Reporting Performance & Outcomes in Health Care
3. Organized Physician Practices (Can You Say Accountable Care Organizations?)
4. Health Care Amenities
5. Recruitment, Retention and Engagement
6. Declining Revenues
7. Reduction in Cost per Unit Service

8. Looking for Solutions Outside of Our Industry
. Health care has been slow to adopt business practice changes that other industries have used to be internationally competitive. 

Industrial re-engineering, relentless process improvement and management transformation will increasingly be used in hospitals beyond the usual inventory and production functions.

Benchmarking of performance will become more focused on best in class, not best in industry. (Think of the service expectations set by an excellent hotel versus a traditional hospital).

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Behind the Scenes @ Henry Ford: Sterile Processing

Many are not aware of the enormous support provided behind the scenes at a major medical center such as Henry Ford Hospital.

Let’s take one area: sterile processing.

You may have different ideas about how such a large operation sterilizes equipment used for surgery and other procedures to ensure protection from contamination and infectious diseases.

Some may have a concept similar to what is used in a small facility, like a dentist’s office or even a barber shop, with multiple small sterilizing units.

Henry Ford Hospital’s central sterile supply department requires large amounts of high-pressure steam generated from a boiler room. This is what the steam intake valve looks like:

Sterile Processing Intake Valve

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One Kleenex Made a Lasting Impression

As I was leaving the hospital the other day, I started thinking about first impressions.

I know it may sound somewhat odd, but perhaps thinking backward is the best way to explain it.

I really believe that the initial impression of a hospital is so extraordinarily important; first impressions leave a lasting impression on a patient.

I was once told a story about a patient who went to one of the top academic medical centers in the country for complex cardiac surgery.

The surgery was successful and the care was great.

But a Kleenex is what left a lasting impression on the patient.

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