Improving Margins and Operational Efficiencies in the OR
Ideas to Gain Efficiencies in Operating Room Turnover
Here are some characteristics of an efficient OR:
- An Educated Staff
Knowledge of turnover time goals and clearly defined roles in the OR helps to break down department barriers and encourages more communication and teamwork.
- Mapped Workflow
Empowering OR Nurses, Anesthesiologists and EVS teams to jointly identify areas for improvement allows them to actively seek solutions to correct them.
- Centralized Supplies Stocked With Commonly Used Items
Having necessities like drapes, peel packs, positioning aids, turnover kits, etc. helps to reduce OR traffic.
- Efficient Room Layout
Having procedure-specific equipment only in the OR helps reduce workflow interruptions.
- Equipment Properly Cleaned and Assessed for Performance
Holding routine meetings to identify current issues and potential problems for the next day's caseload helps avoid delays and gaps due to equipment issues.
What should you measure in order to improve your OR?
- On-Time Starts
Do patients arrive in the OR on time? If not, consider how your operational staff and EVS teams play a role. Cleaning and disinfecting the room between cases can contribute to delayed start times if the process isn’t optimized.
- High-Touch Objects (HTO)
Do you know where all the HTOs are in your OR? Only 25% of 946 common HTOs are effectively cleaned in the operating room.1 Use a fluorescent marking gel to track cleaning of HTOs and provide feedback to staff for continuous improvement.
- Turnover Time
How much time is spent preparing the operating room for the next patient? Measure this time and look for ways to drive more efficiencies.
- Patient Outcomes
How well do patients recover after a procedure? Do they spend excess time in recovery rooms or develop complications? Measure time, delays, complications, and work towards implementing industry best practices.
Are the supplies purchased best suited for the job, patient outcomes and worker safety? Do they drive efficiency – such as proper absorption, patient protection, quick but effective room cleaning, etc.? Look beyond discounts to uncover total values.
1. AORN, Inc., A Novel Technique for Identifying Opportunities to Improve Environmental Hygiene in the Operating Room, 2011