Implementing an open heart surgery (OHS) program presented the opportunity for several community based hospitals to challenge the way they had been providing patient care and establish an innovative approach to post surgery patient care. The One Stop Post Op™ cardiovascular recovery unit was designed to receive the OHS patient directly from the operating room and to be the “care unit” for the patient’s entire stay. Patient flow,ONE STOP POST OP™ Articles quality monitoring and caregiver acceptance in this unit requires new paradigms from the traditional two or three step post OHS care delivery process. The One Stop Post OP™ model focuses the delivery of care on the patient. With proven success in clinical outcomes, and patient, physician and caregiver satisfaction it is anticipated that this new approach will drive hospitals to evaluated how to integrated clinical process with physical plant planning in the future.

Features and Benefits

The One Stop Post Op™ concept of post-operative open-heart surgery care provides patient focused care across the continium, from the pre and immediate post-op period until discharge. The level of patient care changes, the equipment changes, but the patient remains in the same room receiving care from the same nursing staff. While this is not a new concept to health care, it is relatively new to post-operative open heart surgery recovery. In traditional open heart surgery recovery models the patient is transferred from an Intensive Care Unit to an intermediate care unit and possibly to a non-monitored bed prior to discharge. The traditional process moves the patient to the care source instead of applying a patient responsive approach that delivers services directly to the hospital’s customer


The One Stop Post Op™ model reduces care costs by eliminating inefficiencies associated with transfers. Streamlining care delivery affects length of stay as consistent caregivers, familiar with the patients and the medical conditions that can occur following OHS surgery, recognize and immediately address complications. The nurses in “one-stop CVU units” are clinical specialists in pre and postoperative open-heart surgery care, experts in early recognition of clinical complications and can provide rapid intervention, optimizing clinical pathway variance monitoring and management. In addition, One Stop Post OP™ nursing and ancillary staff address patient discharge issues of homecare, family support and skilled facility placement, eliminating a fragmented planning process that can frequently occur when patients are transferred to several post operative care units.

Physicians, nurses and ancillary staff have the opportunity to bond as a continuous quality improvement team that can experience the success of discharging patients who have recovered from their OHS surgery. This is “real time” quality feedback. Satisfaction is not limited to patients and families; physician, staff and ancillary personnel appreciate this innovative approach to care. The One Stop Post Op™ model provides an environment that facilitates staff empowerment and o