Newton (N.J.) Medical Center’s ambulatory services department recently was congratulated by Press Ganey for its high patient satisfaction scores. The ambulatory surgery department’s mean score in overall satisfaction increased by 1.7 points from the first to the second quarter of 2011 — a statistically significant increase, according to Press Ganey, an organization that measures hospital quality and performance.
In a letter to NMC president Thomas Senker, a representative of Press Ganey congratulated the hospital for its score, stating that NMC’s “hard work and dedication to quality improvement” were evident in the increase.
Ambulatory services includes same-day surgery, pre-anesthesia screening and minor surgery. The department works collaboratively with the main OR, PACU and pediatrics unit to prepare and care for children and adult patients who require surgery. The minor surgery unit performs procedures such as endoscopies, stereotactic breast biopsies, chemotherapy and other IV infusions. The department has undertaken several initiatives to enhance the overall patient experience.
“Our team puts great emphasis in developing relationships with the many patients who come here,” Donna Volpe, RN, nurse manager of perioperative and maternal child health services, said in a news release. “We not only believe it helps put the patient at ease, but also helps us gain a better perspective of the individual patient … to provide better care.”Photo courtesy of Saint Barnabas
The ambulatory services team includes RNs, front row, from left, Becky Corby, Judy Tatton, Marilyn Newman, Karen Lance, Lisa Arbolino, Donna VanSchaik and Dana Conrads. Donna Volpe, RN, stands in the back.
In the days leading up to surgery, ambulatory staff contact patients to give them an overview of how the scheduled surgery will go and answer questions. On the day of surgery, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgeons from the OR team visit patients before surgery to introduce themselves and review each patient’s history. In addition, pediatric patients are admitted and prepped in the pediatric unit and PACU to make them more comfortable before surgery.
During the surgery, family members and caregivers are apprised of patients’ progress via an electronic monitor board in the waiting room. After surgery, ambulatory care staff contact patients to follow up on their progress and recovery.
Volpe said that because ambulatory services is the hub of many different procedures, its nurses and other staff are cross-trained, allowing them to take care of various patient needs.
“It’s very much a team approach, and cross-training has definitely been a positive,” Volpe said. “My staff does a tremendous job. They put the patient first and take pride in their work.”