December 21, 2001

Cool Springs Surgery Center offers high-quality care, ease

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Cool Springs Surgery Center is located on Mallory Lane in Williamson County. (photo by Anne Rayner Pollo)

Cool Springs Surgery Center offers high-quality care, ease

Cool Springs Surgery Center is focused on taking care of the patient. When patients walk through the door at Cool Springs Surgery Center, they are treated like family.

Designed to give personal and professional care, the surgery center offers a variety of outpatient surgeries for patients in Williamson and surrounding counties. Surgical procedures include general surgery, gastroenterology, gynecology, ophthalmology, oral, plastics, pain management, podiatry, ENT, and urology.

Partnered with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the center is the only freestanding ambulatory surgery center in Williamson County. “The center’s volume is growing very nicely,” said Janet Meeks, regional vice president of the Williamson County/Southern Division at Vanderbilt.

The facility is set up to offer a warm and relaxing environment. This is the primary goal: personalized, high-quality patient care. The rooms are very spacious, and family members are allowed to stay with patients before and after the surgical procedure.

“We offer a very homey environment,” said Terri Ateca, RN, administrator of the center. “The families are much more involved in the pre-operative and post-operative process.”

After procedures, patients exit through a private door. This, according to Ateca, helps patients who feel self-conscious about walking through a waiting room in bandages.

Stephanie Davis, RN, clinical director, stressed the ease of the facility further. “The center is very user-friendly for patients,” she said. “They can park right outside the door and walk in. They love it.”

Several Vanderbilt physicians use the facility.

“I have had a positive experience there,” said Dr. Jeffrey Guy, assistant professor of Surgery. “The staff is very experienced and knowledgeable. All of the patients have had a very positive experience. They enjoy the easy access as well as ample parking, and families find the environment comfortable and non-threatening.”

Ateca pointed out the center’s commitment to not only taking care of patients, but also accommodating the surgeons. “Our turnover rate for rooms is about six to eight minutes,” she said. “The usual wait for rooms at hospitals is 30 minutes.”

“As a surgeon, it is great to do smaller cases there,” Guy added. “Time in the main OR here at VUMC is a tremendously valuable commodity; therefore, it helps my practice as well as my patients to offload minor cases to an ambulatory center. This allows me to preserve the precious OR time here at Vanderbilt to do my more serious cases. I feel that it is the best-kept secret about Vanderbilt surgery.”

Nancye Feistritzer, assistant hospital director and director of the Perioperative Patient Center, said the surgery center is a valuable resource for Vanderbilt. “While Cool Springs Surgery Center is currently available for Vanderbilt surgeons, it is also viewed as a very attractive facility for additional Vanderbilt surgeons being recruited,” she said.

HERMES uses voice activation to revolutionize surgery

The patient-friendly atmosphere at Cool Springs Surgery Center is combined with state-of-the-art equipment. Cool Springs is one of only three surgery centers in Tennessee that offers HERMES, a voice activation control system.

HERMES is a platform providing surgeons and operating room staff quicker access to information and increased control over the surgical environment. The system links the OR and equipment and is controlled by surgeon voice commands or via a hand-held touch screen pendant. This allows the OR staff to focus on assisting the surgeon and taking care of the patient. Doctors can also use the telephone with HERMES, allowing them to answer important pages and consult with other doctors in an emergency.

Dr. Jeff Cook with Franklin Orthopaedics uses the system at the center in Cool Springs for all of arthroscopic shoulder and knee operations.

“It’s incredibly efficient for me as a surgeon and for my staff,” Cook said. “You just speak and it happens. There are no errors and no confusion.”