Because surgery is a major source of hospital admissions, the Operating Room (OR) is often at the center of problems with patient flow. The OR shares (i.e., competes for) resources with many other departments, and improving OR scheduling practices can be the key to managing artificial variability and improving hospital-wide operations.
Do You Experience any of these issues?
- Significant number / percent of urgent / emergent high acuity cases requiring rapid access to the OR
- Surgeons report difficulties in accessing the OR for urgent/emergent cases
- Significant number/percent of urgent/emergent cases done after prime time hours
- Significant moving, bumping and delaying of elective cases to accommodate urgent/emergent cases
- High OR staff turnover (representative of OR chaos and staff dissatisfaction)
- Quality Assurance (QA) reports of increased waiting for the OR for urgent/emergent cases resulting in patient or family dissatisfaction or poor patient surgical outcome.
- Inability to grow surgical volume because of perceived OR capacity limitation
The benefits of OR re-engineering can include:
- Shorter waiting times for surgery for emergent and urgent patients
- Reduced or eliminated cancellations and postponement of elective surgeries
- Reduced OR overtime
- Higher OR prime time utilization
- Greater surgical throughput (i.e., increased overall surgical patient volume)
- Reduced cost per surgical case
- Reduced inpatient length of stay for unscheduled surgical patients, leading to reduced rates of hospital-acquired infections and costs
- Improved patient safety and reduced mortality
- Improved patient and provider satisfaction
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