Ranking Essential Surgical Coordination Features for Building a Robust Surgical Coordination Workflow

Ranking Essential Surgical Coordination Features for Building a Robust Surgical Coordination Workflow

When you’re reviewing your current tech stack or assessing a new EHR make sure you’re keeping or improving the features that your surgical coordinators need to keep the practice – and surgeons – busy and happy. If you don’t know what those are, we’ve ranked the top surgical coordination features here for you. 

Most schedulers utilize these features in an EHR, an additional tool that integrates with an EHR, or some other way: 

  1. Tasking or flagging feature 
  2. Calendar 
  3. Document repository  
  4. Patient chart 
  5. Equipment rep information 
  6. Checklist or notes 

Let’s dive into the most important features for your surgical coordinators. 

Surgical Coordination Features Ranked 

Red flag

1. Tasking or Flagging

Effective communication and organization are key to successful surgical coordination. A robust tasking or flagging feature that helps sort and prioritize tasks allows surgical coordinators to organize tasks efficiently. 

Unfortunately, many EHRs lack a checklist or customizable template for surgical coordination. A missed reminder or pre-auth is likely, and it can result in cancelled surgeries. 

If you’re looking to add this feature when assessing your next EHR or reviewing your current tech stack, bonus points if you find a flagging feature that can connect to your EHR. This connection will reduce duplicate entries, errors, and time spent coordinating surgeries. 

2. Calendar

Digital surgical calendar on a tablet with a surgical coordinator selecting a date

A reliable calendar feature is the backbone of surgical coordination. Whether it’s a basic calendar or one with a built-in appointment scheduling, surgical coordinators rely on it daily.  

Beware of HIPAA compliance – many free calendar apps are not completely HIPAA compliant or have a high risk of breaching HIPAA, including:  

Bonus points if your calendar seamlessly integrates with other essential features like tasking or document repositories. Look for a calendar with flexible rescheduling options. 

3. Document Repository and Form Generation

Surgical coordinator using notes to coordinate surgeries

Securely filling out forms and storing critical documents is paramount for your team. While EHRs offer document repositories, documents become scattered in the digital cloud without proper organization features and are challenging to manage. Many platforms provide form generators. However, most are limited to pre-built templates and lack customization options. 

Bonus points if your document organization prioritizes ease of use, an easy user interface, and customizable and accurate form generation. 

4. Patient Chart

Surgical coordinator using a patient chart to coordinate surgeries

Patient charts are essential for storing patient information. However, traditional EHR patient charts lack event-based architecture for surgery coordination. This disconnect forces surgical coordinators to enter patient chart information into other systems multiple times manually, and duplicate manual entry easily leads to small errors that can make a big impact.   

Bonus points if you find a solution that streamlines the process of safely and securely transferring information from an EHR to other systems. 

5. Equipment Rep Information Document

Surgical coordinator using phone to call equipment reps to coordinate surgeries

Effective communication with equipment representatives is critical to coordinate your practice’s surgeries. While some EHRs include fields for equipment rep information, others lack this feature entirely.  

Bonus points if you can integrate a feature that offers comprehensive equipment rep contact details and facilitates communication for your surgical coordination team. 

6. Checklist and Notes

Surgical coordinator using checklist to coordinate surgeries

Coordinators have so many details to document, and each case is different. A task-tracking feature alone may not be able to handle every minor detail. Checklists and notes are invaluable for staying organized and prioritizing tasks. Most EHR platforms lack a customizable checklist feature that could help coordinators detail each surgery order. 

The lack of customized organization frequently leads to reliance on external tools like Excel or paper documents, which are prone to errors. 

Bonus points if your checklist is secure and HIPAA-compliant, has note-taking capabilities, and conforms to how your coordinators work – not the other way around. 

Invest In What Your Surgical Coordinators Need 

Surgical coordinator stressed without the features they need

Providing your surgical coordinators with the right features is essential for running an efficient practice and providing great care for patients. If your current EHR lacks the necessary features for a seamless surgical coordination workflow, it may be time to explore specialized surgical coordination tools. Many EHRs offer a marketplace of applications that integrate seamlessly with existing systems to enhance surgical coordination. 

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