As a Mobile Cataract Service, Surgical Direct is in the business of providing everything we can to our surgeons, ensuring that they are happy. It may seem arbitrary to bring up, but did you know that a happy cataract surgeon is a better cataract surgeon? Mood is a big factor of our performance in almost every area of life. Feeling comfortable, supported, and at ease (knowing that the details of the day have been thought through and proper preparations have been followed) helps the surgeon perform better surgery. Less stress = Better outcomes. So the question then stands, how do you keep your cataract surgeon happy?
5 ways to take care of your Cataract Surgeon.
1) New Equipment
New Cataract Technology (for the most part) will always make the surgeon happy. Of course, there are surgeons out there that prefer to stick with equipment that they’ve grown accustomed to. But in our experience, even if they are loyal to an older phaco platform, it’s only because they haven’t been able to try the newer technology yet. Sometimes they know that the hospital isn’t going to invest for them, so they train themselves to be content with what they have. However, if we took a poll, close to 80% would opt to try the new equipment if given an opportunity. From our experience, the surgeon’s mood improves when they finally get the equipment they’ve heard about and wanted to try. One of the best parts about a partnership with Surgical Direct is that your surgeon can upgrade to the latest cataract technology on the market without spending any hospital /ASC capital.
2) Reduced Turnover Times
Surgeons are busy individuals. Lag time in the OR can infuriate them (trust us…we know). Finding ways to reduce the in-between case turnover time will lighten their mood dramatically. Of course, each surgeon will have his or her own expectation of how long a turn-over ‘should’ take. We understand that sometimes, you can only turn-over so fast given the circumstances of hospital regulations, patient arrivals, and instrument prep. What we’ve found at Surgical Direct is that there are always ways to preemptively prepare for a smoother day, no matter what obstacles may lie in your path. We make it our business to work with the OR team and the surgeon, streamlining the process to help the day run as smoothly as possible.
3) Optimal Number of Cases
This next one will always vary based on the surgeon. Some surgeons like to load up the day with cases, while others only like a certain number and no more. Finding that happy balance is important for the mood of the surgeon on surgery day. Case volume is largely in the hands of the surgeon and their scheduling office, but it does help to know the “number” that each surgeon prefers and do what can be done to accommodate them. Knowing this can help the support team adjust. For example, if you have a surgeon that prefers 8 cases a day, but his office scheduled 10, most likely the surgeon will be somewhat frustrated that the day will be longer than anticipated. This gives us a chance to think creatively on how we can speed up the day and use an “all-hands-on-deck” mentality to speed up turnover, patient prep, etc. Trust us, your surgeon will notice and will appreciate the effort.
In the case of the surgeon not having enough cases (especially in Satellite Surgery Programs), Surgical Direct can connect your surgeon with more referring ODs within our referral network. This helps ensure that the surgeon’s trip into town will be more beneficial and productive, both for them and their patients.
4) Consistent / ‘PRO’ Eye Team
Having a consistent team on eye day is important. At Surgical Direct, we’ve learned that the surgeon is more comfortable and performs better surgery if familiar faces are in the OR. Walking into the OR full of people they don’t recognize and have no history with can put them on edge. That’s why consistently keeping the same circulators, scrubs, CRNA’s, and surgical coordinators in the room breeds an environment of trust with the surgeon. The more you work with an individual, the more you know what to expect, how to prepare, and understand likes and dislikes. This is why we do our part to designate our surgical coordinators to certain accounts.
Additionally, cataract surgeons can instantly recognize inexperience. Inexperience in the room can make a surgeon uneasy, depending on the surgeon’s personality. This is why it’s important to have your ‘Pro’ team in the room as much as possible, until newer talent is comfortable and confident in their roles. At SDI, our surgical coordinators will never step foot into an OR alone until they’ve completed a 90 day training period, and have proven that they are ready and capable to take on a surgery day.
5) Reduce Unnecessary Details for the Surgeon
Finally, the 5th way to keep your cataract surgeon happy is to take as much off their plate as is allowed (or possible). Surgeon’s have many details and aspects of the surgery on their mind at all times. It’s important for them to be focused on these details, as they are solely responsible for them: like specific patient requirements and conditions, lens calculations, ocular settings, etc. This weighs heavy on them and they rely on their training to make the best decisions possible. At Surgical Direct, we look for creative ways to take off their plate any other details that we can. The ‘details’ will be different for every surgeon. Sometimes just asking how we can make their day easier is the best place to start. Whatever way we can alleviate non-crucial details for them will enable them to perform better surgery.
From our experience, these 5 practical ways create a successful and enjoyable work environment for cataract surgeons. We are committed to providing the best Mobile Cataract Service available to our partners.
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