I know I’ve blogged about how patients are the real winners if they find a doctor who has his or her own operating room, but I can’t overemphasize that enough! Our in-office operating room is getting busier each week with new patients and the OR staff are really starting to shine.
The key is not just having your own operating room but having the same OR staff for all of your surgical procedures. And it’s not just important for plastic surgeons. As shown in this study, heart surgeons that probably don’t have their own operating room, still show better outcomes for their patients when they operate more frequently with the same staff members. Don’t you want to be part of the cohort that has better outcomes?!
Here are the practical benefits. As my operating room staff and I do more cases together, particularly more of the same cases, they know how I want to “prep and drape” the patient so their skin is as sterile as possible for surgery. When this is done properly, the risk of accidental contamination of the patient’s operative site decreases dramatically.
They know what instruments and suture I prefer so that I can do the best job possible with my hands. It doesn’t mean that my way is the best way for everyone. It just means that my way is the best way for me. All of this adds up to a more streamlined operation that’s faster and multiple studies show that shorter operating room times are better for patients.
Lastly, but certainly not least, when the operating room staff are outstanding, the patients know it. The patient may not know about the technical aspects of what goes on in the operating room, but they know a smart, nice, pleasant nurse when they see one. And those same qualities that the patient appreciates are the same qualities that I look for in my operating room staff.