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Blog: How To Improve Operating Room Utilization And Productivity

Written by Felicia Parkman, MSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, Clinical Advisor at NewCompliance.

In most hospitals, OR performance reports are typically available retrospectively from the business office. It can take days, or even weeks, for teams to even obtain reports which then require further analysis by a surgical team member. For example, discussions about periOperative performance are typically late and retrospective, thus teams do not recall the context of the events. At that point, applying lessons learned becomes very hard. Delays of this nature do not support or enable continuous learning and improvement, necessary for the performance and quality of the hospital and surgical department.

Desired Situation

Then what do surgical departments need to facilitate continuous learning and improvement?  And if you achieve that, what would be the impact?

We believe surgical departments need timely and accurate data from the OR.  Performance reports should be readily available, preferably on the day itself, to utilize the insights and intelligence for continuous improvement of the daily and weekly schedules.  This may consequently enable:

  • Identification of opportunities to optimize utilization, add surgical volume and thereby increasing departmental revenue;
  • Identification of opportunities to reduce staffing and resources;
  • Optimization of patient flow.

The mission of NewCompliance is to propel our clients into the 21st century and drive value in healthcare. We do this by providing a surgical department with integrated IT, resulting in live analytics, reports and dashboards. The goal is to ensure all teams are aware of the department’s daily performance, in real-time, which enables timely adjustments to the workflow, resulting in peak performance in your operating suites.

Our Solution

What does 21st century healthcare look like? With our products we can provide you with:

  • Daily, weekly, or monthly reports tailored to the organization’s requirements to make educated, timely decisions to impact the bottom line. Whenever needed.
  • With OR Cockpit Analytics, monitoring of utilization and block schedules are customized to meet the needs of the department, resulting in live display of your operating suites’ utilization rates.
  • Custom configurations allow inclusion or exclusion of parameters such as specific business hours, holidays, add-ons and blocks for specialties including flip room utilization.
  • View custom configurations via reports such as daily, weekly, monthly or a trend by OR suite or entire department.
  • Block utilization with turnovers can be easily viewed via our Timeline feature. The Timeline displays operations, scheduling deviation rates, and utilization/block percentages.
  • Our suite of tools will automatically calculate and help identify inefficiencies by showing you gaps that may occur through unused time, cancellations, delays or scheduling inaccuracies.

Examples Of Reports From OR Analytics

Below you can find two examples of customizable reports from OR Analytics. The first figure presents the utilization rate in the Timeline feature. With this feature you get a visual representation of the usage of each operating room. Situations like inefficient planning, gaps or scheduling deviations are easily identified.

Figure 1. Utilization Rate Timeline

The second figure presents the Monthly Utilization Trend. With this graph you can view the rate of utilization of every OR room on a daily, weekly, monthly, a trend by OR suite or overall basis. On the figure below you can easily spot changes, like the fall in May 2020, because of postponing surgery due to COVID-19.

Figure 2. Monthly Utilization Trend

Want to know more about opportunities that our solutions can provide and how this may impact your hospital?  Please reach out to us. We would love to help unlock the potential value of your data.

Felicia Parkman is the Clinical Product Manager at NewCompliance. She holds a Master of Science in Clinical Nursing Informatics with over 10 years of periOperative leadership experience in Austin and Houston.