Inside scoop from our experts: OR councils

HCPro's Weekly Update on the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*, November 1, 2010

This week’s question about OR councils comes from a discussion on JourneyTalk.

Q: Would anyone be willing to share success strategies for developing and sustaining councils for the OR. They are so challenged with variability with surgery schedules that it is hard to find consistent times to meet. Also ideas on how to draw the chair of the OR council into active participation/discussions at the hospital level council meetings as so much of the agenda topics are related to inpatient services.

A: We have unit based councils (UBC) for each department or service, including the OR. All UBCs meet on the same day of the month at the same time for wo hours. The first 15 minutes are spent on announcements. Councils then meet in different areas and come back for the last 15 minutes to share their projects and accomplishments. We call the last 15 minutes, the “Sixty-Second Summary”: each UBC has 60 seconds to 1) share their project, 2) their progress that day, and 3) their plans for next meeting. We started out using a timer but do not have to use it very much. RN UBC members have been very good about making their reports concise and meaningful. We invite all nursing leaders, including our chief nursing officer and vice presidents to the summary. One benefit of holding all department UBC meetings on the same day and at the same time is sharing of projects among UBCs. UBCs sometimes team up on projects. This minimizes redundancy on projects and promotes consistency of practice.

Since UBC meetings are considered regular work time, their attendance at UBC meetings is built into their work schedules. There are times when OR RNs—and RNs from other areas—are needed for cases/patient care, but for the most part, this structure has been successful. Labor is paid from the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program ® budget rather than the unit budgets.

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