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Sarasota Memorial Health Care System Maximizes Operating Room Suites

Charlotte Damato, Lean-Six Sigma Quality Coach for Sarasota Memorial Health Care System [SMH] in Sarasota, Florida joins us for this episode of the Patient Flow Podcast.  Damato discusses how increased demand impacted SMH and led to the decision to improve the efficiency of their existing 34 operating room suites. Through a combination of TeleTracking’s Clinical Workflow™ Suite, Lean techniques and process redesign, and staff development, SMH increased on-time surgery starts, decreased OR turnover time and increased utilization.

Charlotte Damato | Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Lean Six Sigma Coach

Charlotte Damato is a Lean/Six Sigma Quality Consultant. In 2006 Charlotte joined Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMHCS) in Sarasota, Florida as their Quality Coach. Prior to joining SMHCS she was an independent Quality Consultant. She works with the staff at Sarasota Memorial to reduce process waste, streamline patient flow, improve patient satisfaction and facilitates strategic initiatives. She is a Certified Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt and Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

In the past 25 years, she has facilitated quality workshops and coached thousands of Directors and Managers in healthcare and other industries across the United States to manage and improve their work processes. She has trained and mentored others to eliminate finger pointing and conjecture by using the power and value of data in meetings, conversations and in day to day operations.

A few noteworthy accomplishments:

  • Designed and supported a system-wide capacity and throughput project at SMH that improved discharge times, reduced transport delays and increased bed capacity through technology, process redesign, restructure and rightsizing people.
  • Coached the SMHCS laboratory & Emergency Department (ED) Team to significantly reduce hemolysis by 93% in the ED (The National Benchmark) and ultimately improved turn-around time of blood specimen results for better, faster patient treatment.
  • Analyzed Trauma lab processes and facilitated solutions that reduced lab issues by 99% and reduced specimen result time by one third.

Charlotte has a Bachelors degree in Speech Communications and a Masters in Counseling from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

More about this episode

Episode Breakdown

  • Key factors that needed to be addressed were the redesign of OR processes; availability of equipment and instrumentation for surgeons to start on time; and improved communication between pre-op and OR suites.
  • Almost immediately the number of phone calls from the OR to the peri-operative area dropped because staff could see every patient who was either in registration, or in surgery check-in.
  • Surgeons were engaged in the process and committed to its success.
  • Collaboration with the Manager of Transport in getting the first cases of the day where they need to be in a timely manner.
  • Expansion to the catherization lab and endoscopy areas in 2018.

More information about this resource

Patient Access, Patient Throughput, Client Success
Media Type
Clinician, Administration, IT/IS, Operations, Other

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