After the normal summer slowdown of surgeries at St. Joseph’s General Hospital, operating rooms will again be running at full capacity again after Labour Day weekend.
According to St. Joe’s president and CEO Jane Murphy, the hospital shuts down two of its four operating rooms during the summer months so staff can take their holidays at the same time and the operating rooms can be run as efficiently as possible.
“It is probably the most cost efficient way to allow staff — because it’s such a team in surgery — to be able to take time off, you know, versus trying to do it throughout the year,” explained Murphy. “So that is a cost-effective way to do that and then when all of our ORs (operating rooms) are up or going that’s a very efficient model to run them, you know, very fully through the rest of the year.
“Our OR time — which is valuable time — our job is to make sure that’s used very efficiently, to use it to its maximum potential within the resources we have to support the needs of our community, so I think there’s really a focus on that, and a commitment.”
While fewer surgeries are performed during the summer months, Murphy stressed waitlists are closely monitored and prioritized.
She noted the result is fewer elective surgeries and a stronger focus on urgent and semi-urgent surgeries.
“Our staff work very closely with the surgeons, and I think as a team, there’s really an awareness of the importance of access to surgery and a real commitment to doing our very best to assure that people have access as quickly and as appropriately as possible,” said Murphy, adding emergency surgeries are always at the top of the list.