Staff collaboration at a Missouri ASC keeps infection rates low, patient satisfaction high


The Surgical Center at Columbia (Mo.) Orthopaedic Group relies on its close-knit staff for quality outcomes. 

Andrew Lovewell, the center's administrator, told Becker's ASC Review the center has a 0.04 percent infection rate for outpatient total joint procedures, a 99 percent patient satisfaction rate and a 100 percent physician satisfaction rate. 

The Surgical Center tracks patient and physician satisfaction with SPH Analytics, and infection rates are tracked by infection control nursing staff, who follow the patients for a year.

Mr. Lovewell and the center's total joint nurse navigator, Megan Halsey, told Becker's ASC Review that collaboration with staff, paired with quality tracking and patient engagement, keep these numbers optimal. 

Mr. Lovewell said the biggest factor in their success is collaboration amongst staff and physicians who "really care about high quality surgery and make sure that patients actually get the best care possible."

"We're a close-knit group. It's really beneficial to have everybody on the same protocols and able to go straight to the physician with any questions or concerns," Ms. Halsey said. "Staff is able to come to us if they want to change something."

Ms. Halsey works alongside physicians and patients to stay on track for patient engagement and quality improvement. According to Mr. Lovewell, after a quality improvement study using an MRSA decolonization for total joint and spine patients, the ASC has not seen a single MRSA infection in 2 ½ years.

The ASC setting gives the team the opportunity to offer personalized care throughout the surgery process that can't always be offered in a hospital environment. 

"The outcomes that we're experiencing are through the roof," Mr. Lovewell said. "If you don't have a good team working together with a common unified goal, doing high quality outpatient surgeries is just not possible. It takes a village."

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