Pre-Surgical Experience Improved Thanks to MCMC Staff and Gift Shop Volunteers

It’s perfectly normal for patients to be anxious or nervous before surgery. At MCMC, our goal is to ensure patients have the best surgical experience possible. With those thoughts in mind, staff members from multiple departments within MCMC came together recently to brainstorm ways to make the pre-surgery experience a more exceptional one for patients.

“As a Planetree hospital, our philosophy is to give patients as much autonomy as possible in their care,” says Carol J. Mitchell, RN, Director of Surgical Services.

Based on experiences at other medical centers, new staff members offered up fresh ideas to improve the pre-surgical experience. This included streamlining the pre-surgical flow so that patients only need to report to one area prior to surgery. From there, patients would be transported by hospital staff to the operating suites and recovery area.

In order to learn how the idea could be worked into real-time operations, a committee was formed with representatives from multiple departments, including Same Day Surgery, Anesthesia, and the Patient and Family Advisory Council. The committee identified stretchers as the safest and most efficient way to transport patients, but MCMC did not have enough stretchers to handle the volume of patients.

“Once we understood the equipment need, I met with the gift shop team to explain our goals in acquiring more stretchers,” Cheri McCall, Chief Human Resources Officer recounts. “The team, led by Vesta Smith, unanimously voted to purchase them.” For every Gift Shop purchase, a percentage of sales goes into an account that can be used to buy needed equipment for the hospital.

“We felt that purchasing the stretchers was a critical link to helping patients have a more holistic experience, which is part of the goal of being a Planetree hospital,” says Gift Shop Coordinator Vesta Smith. “It’s a great example of how we help support the patient experience at MCMC.”

“The cooperation and teamwork among all committee members and the Gift Shop was so well coordinated, and the new stretchers arrived last month,” said Mitchell. “It’s been really inspiring to see how our teams worked together to encourage positive change, especially one with the potential to make a significant difference for patients who are facing surgery.”

The improved pre-surgical experience would not have been possible without the efforts of:

Kim Boothe, Senior Culture and Experience Consultant
Haley Drader, Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Member
Michele Spatz, Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC) Member & MCMC Board Member
Jeff Mathisen MD, Chairperson of Surgical Specialties
Cheri McCall, Chief HR Officer
Carol Mitchell, BSN RN CNOR, Director of Surgical Services
Vesta Smith, Gift Shop Coordinator
Sonia Shishido DO, Chief of Anesthesia
Jennifer McLeod RN, Same Day Surgery
Michele Gunderson RN, Same Day Surgery