Realize the Power of Yes

Yes, Si, Oui, Ja, Da. Whatever the language, it’s universal. You can’t deny the power and positivity of “Yes”.

During these uncertain economic times, this is particularly important. When a facility says Yes to a broad spectrum of patients, it’s delivering on its mission of providing care to the local community. This, in turn, boosts access to care, quality measures, reputation, staff satisfaction, patient base, CMI and financial success. In short, it elevates the hospital’s stature in almost every way.

However, for many hospitals, providing broad-based emergency surgery care can be a major stumbling block to this highly desirable Culture of Yes, turning it into a dreaded Culture of No and setting off a negative cascade that ultimately affects the hospital’s stature on every measure.

It’s a fact that a significant number of a hospital’s inpatients—as many as 70%—are admitted through the Emergency Department. Statistically speaking, at least 10 percent—and often many more—of these patients will require emergency surgery and will ultimately enter the OR. If your hospital is falling below that figure, you have a problem. You are either turning ED patients away, patients are walking to seek care in another facility or, worse yet, your LEMSA won’t even consider your facility.

So how does a hospital adopt a Culture of Yes for trauma and acute care surgery patients? The obvious answer is that it must have adequate and reliable surgical talent to support this patient population. But often, the way to accomplish this is anything but obvious—or easy.

Many hospitals continue to rely on community private practice surgeons for coverage and often have a difficult time recruiting talent. Performing midnight surgeries is not in line with today’s desired positive work-life balance. Moreover, today’s surgeons are often specialized, making the versatile general surgeon—the choice for emergency procedures—a relic of the past.

When a hospital is, in fact, able to establish relationships with local surgeons, frequently wait times for visits are long, resulting in patient dissatisfaction and potentially greater complications and patient decline.

Alternatively, hospitals may attempt to recruit in-house surgical staff themselves. However, this is a complex process. Competition to attract the diminishing supply of surgeons who fit the emergency surgery bill is strong. Without a finger on the pulse of the marketplace, knowing how to reach and attract appropriate candidates in an ever-changing landscape can be difficult at best.

A better choice may be implementing a surgicalist aka surgical hospitalist program. Surgicalists are board-certified surgeons who lead a surgical team to deliver full-time ED, inpatient and outpatient coverage and ensure the availability of quality care 24/7/365. Typically they are general surgeons or are drawn from the emerging specialty of acute care surgery. Without private practice cases competing for their time, surgicalists can focus on ED and acute care demands on a predictable set schedule.

A surgicalist, for example, might work every day for two weeks on a pre-determined schedule, then have two weeks off to recharge. Existing private practice surgeons often continue to assist with on-call needs as desired but with a much more manageable schedule.

SAMGI has been helping hospitals implement surgicalist programs for over 25 years and continues to set the standard for surgicalist performance. They have had numerous hospitals of every size nationwide leverage the surgicalist paradigm to create a Culture of Yes. If you find your hospital is saying no too often, isn’t it time you talked to SAMGI? With surgicalists available to meet the full range and volume of emergency surgeries, more procedures are performed, outcomes improve, financial results grow and a hospital takes on new stature. Who can say no to a Culture of Yes? Click here to learn more about building a Culture of Yes and taking your facility to the next level.