Jefferson Regional Medical Center

A 371-bed Community Hospital in Pine Bluff, Arkansas

An interim officer mentors a newly hired director and transforms perioperative services.

Situation: The hospital was onboarding a new director, but didn’t want to lose momentum as it made progress on a perioperative transformation project.

Finding experienced OR directors is a challenge facing hospitals nationwide. Every day, more and more seasoned OR professionals retire or simply leave the profession. When that role goes unfilled, profitability suffers. Hospital location also impacts how many qualified applicants can be found in the local talent pool. Jefferson Regional Medical Center (JRMC) found itself in a position that many hospitals face when OR management turnover occurs.

Strategy: Place an experienced officer to guide the perioperative project and mentor the new director.

JRMC initially hired Surgical Directions to assess and implement changes within perioperative services. During the assessment, the client revealed they had just hired a new director to manage the OR. From years of working with hospitals, Surgical Directions knows that the transition to a director role can be a challenge. Pairing that new role with the transformation of their entire department likely would have overwhelmed the new employee. That’s why Surgical Directions recommended hiring an interim administrative officer. The new officer would mentor the recently hired director and implement the perioperative department transformation.

Transforming perioperative services involves many initiatives. Those often include updated procedures for block schedule redesign, preadmission testing and scheduling-process change. The interim administrative officer managed the updates and relieved the pressure on the new director.

As an experienced OR professional, the interim administrative officer could effectively mentor the new director, who had never before served in a director’s role. Mentoring included skill improvement in budgeting, staffing and service within the OR group.


The initial contract term for the interim position was six months. Pleased with the progress, JRMC leadership extended the contract for two more three-month terms. The client told Surgical Directions, “We could not have done [the perioperative services transformation] without her.” Thanks to the guidance and leadership of the interim officer, the director successfully transitioned to his new role – and the perioperative services implementation was successfully completed.