University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center: Leveraging partnerships to build efficient, high-quality surgical care teams

November 18, 2015  |  Posted in: Articles
University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center: Leveraging partnerships to build efficient, high-quality surgical care teams

Joyce Myers, Director of Perioperative Nursing, University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center

– The rapid movement away from free-for-service payment toward value-based care is placing tremendous pressure on hospitals to do more with less. In order to meet these new challenges, my team at University of Maryland Baltimore Washing Medical Center (UM BWMC) relies on advanced trained Surgical First Assistants (SFAs) and our partnership with Intralign to deliver efficient, high quality care.

In 2008 UM BWMC made the strategic decision to partner with Intralign for its SFA services. As leaders in the healthcare industry, Intralign works with over 200 hospitals and 1,200 surgeons nationally to improve Operating Room efficiency and quality. Intralign also enhances the clinical and operational skills of their SFAs through Intralign Academy. By addressing each critical area, my team is able to deliver consistent, quality care to our patients.

On an annual basis, UM BWMC works with Intralign on roughly 3,000 procedures across a variety of specialties including neurosurgery, vascular and orthopedics. We partner with 12 highly qualified SFAs (MD, PA-C, RNFA certified), saving our organization roughly $630,000 per year in payroll savings. Taking into account the time saved working with an Intralign SFA, the increased efficiency value to UM BWMC is equivalent to $2.9 million dollars (study shows that this is a 30-50% savings on key procedures[1]). And by operating more efficiently, UM BWMC is able to reduce OR turnover time, thereby increasing throughput.

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*Estimated average surgery time without SFA is based on 2014 Medicare data and top HCPCS codes associated with each procedure area.

However, our partnership with Intralign goes beyond SFA services. In early July 2015 Intralign SFAs commenced daily tracking on key operational metrics in the OR. Reporting includes data on workflow/patient safety, room turnover and equipment and instrument use. UM BWMC receives weekly reports, and quarterly trend data that allows us to quickly identify areas in need of efficiency improvements, validate existing data and monitor SFA impact to the hospital.

Leveraging partnerships that focus beyond their role and take a look at “how do we impact efficiency as a whole?” is vital to succeeding in today’s healthcare environment. At UM BWMC, it’s the difference between being able to increase surgical throughput, better satisfy and retain surgeon staff – all while consistently providing a positive patient experience.

1) Bohm et al., Experience with Physician Assistants in a Canadian arthroplasty program, Canadian Journal of Surgery, Vol. 53, No 2, April 2010. Minute savings obtained from review of Intralign’s 53,378 cases done in 2014 in FL, NC, CA, GA, CT, NJ, NY and MD.

Joyce Myers

Joyce Myers
Director of Perioperative Nursing, University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center

Joyce Myers is the Director of Perioperative Nursing at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Mrs. Myers, who had served as the hospital’s Operating Room Nurse Manager from 1987 to 2000, obtained her nursing degree from the Maryland General School of Nursing in Baltimore and has her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. With over 30 years of experience in Nursing, Mrs. Myers now provides leadership to the Operating Room, Post Anesthesia Care Unit, Endoscopy, Ambulatory Admissions, Pre-surgical Testing and Central Services nursing units of Baltimore Washington Medical Center.