Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge: Surgical Operational Excellence

Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge: Surgical Operational Excellence

Overcoming hospital challenges in surgical services by Tefen's correct and successful project planning and implementation

In May 2008, Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge engaged Tefen USA to conduct an Operations Excellence Diagnostic and Implementation project in their Surgical Services Department. This not-for-profit hospital opened its doors in 1968, making it one of the first women’s specialty hospitals in the nation.

As the 19th largest delivery service in the country, and the largest in Louisiana, the hospital delivers 8,700 newborns each year. Woman’s Hospital operates one of the largest Level III Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the country, caring for more than 1,500 babies each year.


With increasing demand for elective surgery procedures, the Surgical Services department was experiencing challenges with sub-optimal Operating Room utilization due to inefficiencies on the day of surgery, low patient throughput during peak times, increasing overtime costs due to late starts and scheduling opportunities, and lack of standardization and miscommunication in the Admissions process.

In addition, Woman’s Hospital has begun construction of a new campus to expand its service offerings. Achieving operational excellence in their current operations provides the hospital with opportunities to streamline and optimize their processes prior to the transition, therefore improving their capacity and services for the existing and new offerings.

Having successfully completed projects for the hospital in the past, Woman’s Hospital sought Tefen’s expertise to help diagnose, prioritize, and implement improvement initiatives. Tefen completed a scoping assessment, where they performed a general data analysis to gain a better understanding of the operation’s historical performance. Tefen also conducted interviews with key personnel to identify the most crucial areas in need of improvement.

Based on this assessment the improvement opportunities were subdivided into five major work-streams: pre-admission, day of surgery, scheduling utilization, facility capacity, and key performance indicators.

Activities in the diagnostic and implementation included an analysis of historical data for the previous fiscal year and current Pre-Admission process and patient journey on the day of surgery, metrics and report systems, and an assessment of the facility’s capacity constraints and need. Tefen also created process mapping of inefficiencies, roadblocks, and causes of delay and validated WHBR’s scheduling system time allocation.

Results Achieved

By the end of the three-month engagement, Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge:
• Reduced delays caused in PreOp due to an inefficient admissions process
• Improved medical chart completeness prior to day of surgery from 10% - 75%
• Evaluated and challenged scheduled procedure times through a comprehensive Time Allocation Process
• Eliminated Friday late hour and Saturday offerings due to inadequate use of resources saving the hospital $100k-$150k/year
• Recognized staffing opportunities with potential annual savings of $500k-$800k
• Analyzed future capacity demand based on a model that projects OR-hour demands and patient census, considering increased shift hours and additional capacity options
• Provided real-time visibility of Key Performance Indicators using Business Intelligence software

As supplemental support to assist Woman’s Hospital on the Operational Excellence journey, Tefen provided an Implementation Roadmap with continuing action items, as well as an interactive project summary CD to ensure that the tools and information are available to sustain their continuous improvement efforts.

Client Testimonial

"Over the 29 years I’ve been at Woman’s, I have worked with several consultants, Joint Commission reps, and the Magnet surveyors. I must truly say that I have never been as satisfied or comfortable with a group like I have been with Tefen.

The most outstanding quality that I can commend is that Tefen really listened to our wishes, wants, and needs. I feel they have helped us see the areas needing improvement and have assisted us to reach healthy compromises in our admit process.

The changes that have been, and are being implemented, are many of the same things we’ve been asking for many, many months, but Tefen has helped us get the data in line to support those items. For that, I will be eternally grateful!"

Lauren Landreneau, Day Surgery Charge Nurse Woman’s Hospital of Baton Rouge


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