Abrazo Health West Valley

A 188-bed Acute Care Hospital in Goodyear, Arizona

In under six months, we guided the Abrazo Health West Valley campus through an expansion, a Level 1 trauma center conversion, EMR implementation and a staff recruitment and retention plan.

Situation: Strategy Challenges

Abrazo Health West Valley campus serves communities from the West Valley Phoenix metro area to the California state line. Prior to Surgical Directions’ intervention, patients who required trauma care and complex healthcare were routed elsewhere. The hospital had a reputation for poor outcomes and had been unable to draw both surgeons to create organic surgical volume and staff to deliver quality care.

The facility underwent an acquisition from a national for-profit hospital system that infused $26 million into the campus to expand and obtain a new Level 1 designation for the trauma center. Due to the defined scope and abbreviated timeline for this project, the hospital and health system determined the best course of action was to outsource the transformation to perioperative experts. The contract was put to bid through an RFP process. Surgical Directions was chosen due to the depth and breadth of perioperative, procedural, and anesthesia experience as well as the ability to mobilize a multidisciplinary team to address the areas outlined within the scope of work.

Strategy: Mobilize a multidisciplinary team experienced in both the trauma theatre, as well as the Cerner SurgiNet® platform. 

Surgical Directions is known for putting “boots on the ground.” They mobilize experienced surgical services professionals and physicians who have served in the OR and trauma front lines. These operational experts engage in peer-to-peer dialogue with their associate hospital counterparts: surgeon to surgeon, anesthesiologist to anesthesiologist, OR nurse to OR nurse, CSP manager to CSP manager. During this intensive intervention, each Surgical Directions team member’s knowledge is passed to the staff who provide care in the hospital’s OR and trauma center.

Prior to the transformation, most of the hospital’s OR staff were locum tenens, so there was little experience available to coordinate trauma preparedness and Cerner rollout –  let alone manage the daily operating room activities. To move from this starting point to fulfilling local and state certifications for trauma and Cerner go-live, the entire process took months instead years with the assistance of Surgical Directions.

In four months, the Surgical Directions team helped the hospital meet these objectives defined within the approved scope of work:

  • Shift from primarily locum tenens staff to full-time staff
  • Develop an internal recruitment and retention strategy and train from within through Periop 101
  • Encourage surgeons to use the new facilities and build a strategic plan for growth in defined surgical specialties
  • Before go-live, facilitate numerous mock drills replicating high-pressure trauma situations 24 hours a day for 17 days to streamline and mobilize trauma care
  • Efficiently allocate resources, staff, training and facilities across the trauma center, OR and main hospital. (The mock drills processed “patients” through trauma bays, imaging, the OR, intensive care and other areas of the hospital.)
  • Assist in the field mapping, customization and education of Cerner SurgiNet®enterprise
  • Educate, monitor compliance and audit Cerner charting
  • Review plan and ensure proper supplies, equipment and instrumentation is available for the OR and trauma areas
  • Facilitate and lead ancillary support initiatives to ensure expectations and availability are communicated and understood
  • Reallocate the block time schedule and allocation of trauma. Urgent/emergency rooms to balance capacity with demand
  • Provide interim staff to fully support the transition


Improvements in hospital operations were observed less than six months from when Surgical Directions began working with Abrazo Health West Valley campus. Facility efficiency was enhanced. Key areas of improvement included OR patient preparation, first case on-time starts, prime time (7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) utilization and increased surgeon engagement. Recruitment and retention plans allowed for the addition of dedicated staff and surgical specialists. Cerner SurgiNet® was effectively rolled out.