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June 2011
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New Partnership Assures Access to Skilled Surgical Assistants

Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) has enhanced its commitment to provide outstanding surgical services. It recently partnered with Jackson Surgical Assistants (JSA) to provide skilled, experienced surgical first assistants.

Part of Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare, JSA works with hospitals, surgeons and assistants to improve operating room productivity and quality. "This partnership makes sense," says Meaghan Reshoft, executive director of Surgical Services at NCH. "It assures that we will continue to have a staff of very qualified and well-trained surgical assistants, which is a great service for our surgeons and a benefit to our patients."

Reshoft adds that this arrangement helps NCH focus on productivity, making good use of surgical resources. "Surgical assistants are vital members of the surgical team. In addition to providing surgical assistant functions, they support OR efficiency by assisting with set-up and preparation, which allows our surgeons to be more efficient," she says. "There are financial benefits to the Hospital, too. By partnering with JSA, Northwest Community does not need to employ surgical assistants and, in most cases, the assistants' services can be billed to the patient's insurance company."

Most of the current JSA surgical assistants at NCH had previously worked for the Hospital. "It was an easy transition," says Victor Petryshchuk, who is the team leader for JSA at Northwest Community and is a former NCH employee. "We know the Hospital and the surgeons," he says. "We now benefit from being JSA employees, with the additional training and coordination that the company provides." He adds that the current JSA assistants team includes one person with an MD degree; three foreign medical school graduates; one advanced practice nurse; and one nurse who is an RNFA (Registered Nurse First Assistant).

He adds that the team of NCH JSA assistants are trained to provide assistance in a range of surgeries, including da Vinci® robotic procedures. "This is an area of interest for me, especially," Petryshchuk says. "As the Hospital increases the use of this option, the expertise of the surgical assistants will be more and more valuable." He notes that one of the six assistants is always on call, assuring that NCH surgeons will have consistent access to a first surgical assistant. In addition, JSA is investing in further skill development and cross training to improve the flexibility of the team.

"I am pleased with this partnership," says Ranae Yockey, DO, who has worked with JSA assistants in a number of procedures, including gynecologic surgeries performed with the da Vinci robotic surgical system. "They are skilled, knowledgeable and share our commitment to quality and care."

Reshoft stresses the importance of maintaining a staff of outstanding assistants who are familiar with our surgical staff, surgeons and procedures, and says JSA brings that same commitment to the table. In just over two months since the partnership began, she has already seen the benefits. "We have great coverage for first surgical assistants, and the transition has been smooth. This is a win-win for the Hospital, surgeons and our patients," says Reshoft.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009