You know that days at an ASC can fly by in a blink. And as ASCs add more surgeries to the OR board to increase revenue, time management becomes even more precious. Here are 7 tried-and-true tactics your ASC needs to improve nursing time management.
1. Stay organized.
Sorting through paperwork on a cluttered desk can be a time-waster. Not only do all nurses and clinicians need to stay organized individually, but your ASC should stay organized as a team. Digital charting is one of the best ways to get rid of the clutter. Additionally, incorporating a digital OR board that updates in real-time can be a significant time-saver for all nurses and clinicians.
2. Practice prioritization.
Prioritizing is a critical skill for any nurse. And the ASC’s leaders should support nurses in their ability to prioritize. Some crucial questions to help prioritize better include:
- What is the first thing to do today? Why?
- What task is most important today? Why?
- What are the consequences if this task gets completed later instead of now?
- What is most important for the patient?
3. Schedule breaks.
Nurses are often working at break-neck speed all day long. But all of us need to take breathers now and then to work more efficiently. When nurses take 5-minute breaks every 1-2 hours, they have a lower risk of burnout and compassion fatigue. It’s also been proven that these breaks can lead to better focus and positivity—the two crucial elements of being a great nurse.
5. Go online for pre-admissions.
Gathering a patient’s medical history, either in-person or by phone, is a lengthy process. Your ASC can help to utilize nursing time better by giving patients an easy way to submit their pre-op medical information. Online pre-admissions make pre-op planning easier and boost time management.
6. Be realistic about time.
One of the biggest reasons nurses fail to get everything done is because they underestimate how long each task takes. Be realistic when assessing how efficient staff can be. Use this understanding to inform your nurse staffing. In an ASC, a 1:5 nurse-to-patient ratio is a good standard.
7. Arrive at shifts early.
For many nurses, the thought of arriving early sounds exhausting. But just an extra 20 minutes can help you to get your bearings, evaluate the schedule for the day, and set priorities. Arriving early sets you up for a day of success and ensures that you don’t have to stay late wrapping things up when you’re already exhausted.
BONUS: Keep meetings to a schedule.
In today’s workforce, meetings are one of the biggest culprits for robbing workers of time. When you run meetings, make sure that they start and stop on time. If needed, take a quick assessment about 15 minutes before the end of the meeting and ask if any items are anticipated to take extra time. If so, either establish how much extra time the meeting will run, or identify if scheduling a follow-up meeting is best.
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