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Operating Room Efficiency

Operating Rooms (OR) are the beating heart of a hospital. Undergoing surgery is a major event in the life of your patients and their families. Their perioperative experience is often the most important contributor to patient satisfaction.  And apart from its importance in determining the quality of care, Operating Rooms also represent the revenue engine of a hospital. Typically, the surgical suite is responsible for 60% of a hospital’s income.

This income cannot be generated without significant investment and operating cost. Managing OR cost through efficient use of OR resources, should therefore be a topic of attention for every hospital.  In reality, perioperative departments face daily challenges in running an efficient perioperative area. There is an inherent complexity in ensuring all parties and resources including staff, room, equipment, instruments, patient and information are at the right place at the right time. Good planning tools are essential but even well planned departments cope with unexpected late starts, emergency add-on cases, cancellations, equipment failure and case delays. Such events can have a huge impact on operational efficiency and patient satisfaction.

The good news is, our experience shows that almost any OR can run considerably more smoothly and efficiently, when we install real-time information tools that support medical staff throughout the department, to help cope with and prevent such undesired process disturbances from happening. Resulting in significant cost savings and increased satisfaction for both patient & caregivers.

Below are some of the important Operating Room efficiency metrics, that we believe should be available to any OR manager:

  • Suite Utilization
    • Room Utilization
    • Block Utilization
  • Scheduling Accuracy
    • Average Inaccurate Minutes per Case
    • Minutes Unused or Delayed
  • Scheduling Efficacy
    • Add-on vs. Scheduled cases
    • Overtime – cases performed after working hours
    • Scheduled Staffing efficiency
  • Room Turnovers
    • Cleaning Times
    • EVS Response Times
    • Turnover Time – Room (Patient-Out to Patient-In)
    • Turnover Time – Surgeon (Close to Cut)
  • Case Start Timeliness
    • Late Start reasons
  • Case Cancellations

With the right tools (visualized, real-time information & instant analytics) hospitals can analyze and benchmark their perioperative processes using the OR efficiency metrics described above, to identify bottlenecks, determine why procedures are cancelled or start late, and discover suboptimal trends that impact their throughput.

This allows perioperative management to improve on the OR schedule throughout each day, and increasingly efficiently assign cases, staff and OR block times to drive suite utilization towards the desired goal of 85%.


ORCockpit+ at work – optimizing workflow, safety and OR efficiency all over the department.

The ORCockpit+ solution helps our clients achieve exactly that, on a daily basis, in over 35 health systems around the world. Its mobile, web based platform can – even without the use of costly RTLS equipment – enhance your EMR and scheduling software by allowing you to automatically track & report on key data points such as:

  • First case on-time starts and subsequent case on-time starts
  • Late start reasons
  • After hours cases / minutes
  • Scheduled vs. realized cases and delay minutes
  • Room & block utilization
  • Room & surgeon turnaround time by specialty
  • Cleaning times
  • Door movements
  • SSI risks
  • and much more.

Feedback to your team needs to be instantaneous in order to have real impact
Getting data on the above metrics alone, is not enough. It also needs to be provided within a short time window to your team, in order to have any real effect. We experience every day with customers, that it is often too difficult to drive real behavior change when feedback is more than a few days old. People simply loose the sense of context after a few days and most of the potential for learning is lost.

Real-time support, and instant – daily or weekly – analytics, is what can drive your teams towards real positive change. ORCockpit+ provides smart information live during each day, and provides the opportunity to review results immediately at the end of each day of hard work. This truly provides the basis for improvement, which can than start as early as the very next day!

Having an automated real-time information & reporting system will make a huge difference in how you can drive efficiency improvements in your OR. Next to being your partner in tracking all your OR efficiency and patient safety metrics, the team at NewCompliance and the ORCockpit+ platform are continuously there with you, to guide you with benchmarks, best practices and system support to help you achieve great improvements on all OR efficiency metrics.

Feel free to ask us for a live demo or to share some of our astonishing results with your team!