Preparing for Surgery: The Urology Design Project

How do you engage busy individuals in a hospital for a design project?  On the other side, how do you show the rest of the team members that although these busy individuals cannot make the first meeting that they are still engaged?

It is no surprise that surgeons at Sibley Hospital are extremely busy. They often need to be at multiple areas - in the operating room, the Emergency Department, the hospital floors, and Intensive Care Units providing preoperative and postoperative care. Some surgeons can also be covering several hospitals as well. So, how do you get involved in the process?

Last week, the Innovation Hub kicked off a Urology Design Thinking Project looking at the pre-operative experience. This project stemmed from a conversation with a Urology patient about his experiences preparing for surgery. What resonated with me is that no matter how good a process is, there is always room for improvement.  And using design thinking provides an approach and the discipline to make sure we continue to think about patient perspectives and not look at the processes from the providers’ sides.

One hurdle that has come early on is that when we planned for our first meeting, the kick-off session, our surgeon champions were scheduled to either be in the operating room or in clinics seeing a patient. If we had tailored the team’s schedules to theirs, the meeting would not have happened until far into the future. How do you then show that the physician champions are involved? 

In our case, we decided to film our physician champions introducing themselves and talking about why they joined the Urology Design project.  They also touched up what they hoped their goals were. The fact that the physicians allowed themselves to be filmed and played at the meeting showed 1) their commitment to the project and 2) provided motivation to other team members.  In retrospect, to complete that loop, we would have filmed the meeting and introductions to show the physicians why each person was interested into the meeting.

If you want to see our physician champions of the Urology Design Project, check out their videos below:

Our other members of the Urology Design Project include: Bill Menda (Patient Representative), Barbara Swayne (Clinical Coordinator Same Day Surgery), Heather Rizzo (Pre-Surgical Testing Clinical Coordinator), Anna Johnson (Office Manager at the George Washington University Urology Clinic), Linsley Nyack (Nurse Manager 6E), Shelly Choo (Innovator-in- Residence), Mellaknese Coker (Nurse Manager Short Stay Surgery), Stephen Dejter (Surgeon)

If you’re interested in more information about this project, please contact us through the contact form:

Other Project Updates

-       Welcome Center Design Sprint- The principles of the Design Space are completed and have been sent to the architects. Next step, the logistics of implementing the provided services.

-       Transitions of Care Design Project- Spearheaded by Dr. Ramunno, there are 5 projects regarding transitions of care occurring.

-       Ready to Go- A tool for patients to help them with the transition from hospital to home is currently being piloted across 6E/W.

-       Social Service Web Resource Tool- A web resource tool to link case managers with community organization resources such as transportation and meal delivery. We are currently meeting with various healthcare providers on receiving feedback and suggestions for resources.