Baptist DeSoto KATA Teams Exceed Challenge Goals in Big Ways

Achieving big results with KATA boards starts with thinking small—that is, breaking down a process into small bites and tackling each step until you uncover a better way. Take Baptist DeSoto’s OR and outpatient surgery KATA team and the pre-op KATA team. Both teams tackled what seemed to be a huge challenge, and both achieved significant results.

“When we first received our challenges, we were not in the right mindset,” said Baptist DeSoto Director of Surgical Services Patti Beasley. “Every day, we had to practice breaking the process down and working on small bites. It was difficult, as nurses are trained to take a problem and solve it themselves. KATA teaches you to tackle one obstacle at a time as a team.”

OR and Outpatient Surgery KATA

Team members:  Beth Lansdell, Patrick Amsden, Joann Frank, Tina Woodruff, Diane Whitley

Challenge:  Decrease the OR turnaround time from 30+ to 22 minutes.


  • Improve communication by educating all team members on actual turnaround times.
  • Page a “turnaround team” when a room needs to be prepared; anyone who is free can assist.
  • Update the SNAP (schedule) board when a case is moved to another room and color-code that information for easier recognition and communication.
  • Standardize how each scrub tech opens an OR room by setting up specific zones for instruments, sharps, and linens.

“We challenged ourselves early on to reduce our time from 22 minutes to 21 minutes, and when we realized the one-minute goal was causing stress, we looked at why—and that’s when the ideas for improvement really flowed,” said Patti.

Results:  “Our turnaround time for August was 16 minutes. Surpassing our original goal was a very big deal for us.”

Another challenge for the OR and outpatient surgery team was to increase on-time starts from 59 percent to 80 percent. “We wanted to improve what we were delivering to our patients, our surgeons, and one another,” said Patti. “We had to prove to our surgeons that we would be ready for them, so they could arrive on time. This would allow us to start on time and the surgeries would finish earlier.”

The result:  Year-to-date, the team has achieved 91 percent first case on-time starts.  

Pre-Admission Evaluation (PAE) KATA

Team members:  Molly Dyer, Vivian Donald, Lori Stanfill

Challenge: 90 percent of patients seen prior to surgery day so surgery does not have to cancel.  Start rate was initially 60 to 65 percent.


  • New procedure for calling each patient for PAE, including developing a new form outlining specific questions and instructions to improve consistency of communication.
  • Instead of OPS nurses making all PAE calls, cath lab nurses now make the calls for their patients.
  • Created a process for discussing PAE information during 1 p.m. huddle.

Results:  97 percent of all cases seen prior to surgery, with some weeks at 100 percent.

“I’m so proud of our team. They get all the credit,” said Patti. “We have worked together to increase the satisfaction of patients, surgeons and staff.  Everyone wins. The more efficient we are, the more likely staff can leave on time. Our patients don’t have to wait around for surgery, and surgeons don’t have extended days.  It’s made a huge impact on everyone.”

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