Five Ways to Run an Effective Operating Room

The direct link between the composition of surgical personnel and operating room efficiency goes hand and hand. The operating room, more than any other sector within a hospital, is the merging of resources that unite medical personnel, medical equipment and time. Saving time in the operating room is an inarguable demand that is present in every medical facility. With a reduction of time between surgical cases, patients will spend less time actually undergoing surgery or waiting for their time slot. Medical staff is able to perform other necessary duties such as visiting patients. In addition, hospitals can capitalize on a well-deserved reputation for highly efficient surgical practices.

New Technology

An innovative new practice among the nation’s leading hospitals is a main OR dashboard, a valuable tool that allows physicians and administrators to make the right choice when it comes down to allocating time and other pertinent resources.

Additionally, an operating room dashboard identifies areas in need of improvement. As most healthcare professionals know, if there is a delay in the first surgical case, the entire day will most likely be impacted as well. One of the primary reasons for the first delay is a lack of comprehensive data. An automated account of workflow could improve the visibility across the board.

Preoperative Forms are Complete

Maximizing efficiency on the operating rooms begins long before the patient is taken into surgery. Incompleteness of preoperative forms leads to further delays. Ensuring the completeness prior to surgery will increase efficiency while in the surgical suite.

Organization with the Anesthesia Department

How many times has a surgical procedure been delayed because the anesthetist was unavailable. Coordinating schedules accordingly leads to higher levels of efficiency once the patient is in the OR. One way to correct this problem would be to identify the exact processes aimed at correcting the flawed areas. For example, operating rooms could stagger start times so the attending anesthesiologist doesn’t need to be in more than one room at the same time.

Analyzing Data

With analysis of raw data, operating rooms are able to significantly improve levels of efficiency. Findings ways to minimize delays, consolidation of procedures and personal accountability all play a role in the efficiency of the operating room.

Improved Scheduled Process

The decisions that embody the “master” surgical rooster can impact overall performance in the operating room. Miscommunication and scheduling mishaps can be disastrous. Efficiency starts long before the medical staff steps foot in the operating theater. It needs to start in the doctor’s office. Implementing sound scheduling procedures increases the likelihood of a positive outcome on the day of surgery. This includes verifying insurance coverage before the day of the procedure. Many times, surgical cases are postponed for hours due to the lack of insurance verification.

Operating rooms are vital to revenue and patient care. Improving the methodology and redesigning organization from the ground up can improve efficiency dramatically. In any model for improvement measurement of statistical information is the key to accelerating improvement in all sectors.