6 Ways To Improve Operating Room Efficiency

The operating room is an area in a hospital where doctors perform surgery. The operating room is one of the essential areas in any medical facility. For that reason, it’s important to keep it clean, efficient, and well-maintained to provide the best care for patients.

The efficiency of the operating room is key to patients’ safety. For this, be it your Medical Supplier, or your support staff, every contributing hand has to be efficient. If you’re curious to know how to improve your operating room efficiency, here are some ways to make sure your OR is working at its maximum performance:

  1. Review Surgical Volumes And Determine Alignment With Your Operating Room Capacity

As an operating room (OR) manager, you should review surgical volumes and determine alignment with your operating room capacity. This will help ensure that there are no scheduling conflicts, as well as identify trends in the types of cases being dealt with.

For example, if you notice that a particular surgeon is performing one type of procedure more frequently, this could indicate that they’re better suited to a different type of case. It also may help identify opportunities for increasing revenue by offering new services or negotiating contracts with additional payers.

  1. Review Current Productivity Trends And Demand

Review current productivity trends and demand. Operating room (OR) efficiency can be improved by understanding how much time your team spends on each procedure, case, patient, and surgery type.

For example, if a physician spends more than an average amount of time scrubbing in or out of an operation, it may be because they’re entering information into their electronic medical record (EMR).

It would help if you also understood your equipment’s impact on OR efficiency. A new surgical robot might save some time when performing specific procedures but could increase the overall time spent in surgery. This is because it requires additional training for staff members who will use it regularly.

  1. Assess Utilization Of Support Staff In The OR

The first step in improving your OR efficiency is to assess the utilization of support staff in the OR. This will allow you to identify roles and responsibilities, as well as the skills needed for each role.

From there, you can determine how many support staff is needed per role and what specific tasks are performed by each. Additionally, you can work towards each support staff’s success.

  1. Review On-Call Requirements And Existing Scheduling Practices

You should review your on-call requirements and existing scheduling practices to identify opportunities to improve the turnover time between cases. If you have a high number of cases that require minimal time in the OR, you may want to consider optimizing your scheduling so that these cases are completed as quickly as possible.

The goal is to minimize wasted time without compromising patient safety or quality. You can also create a high-reliability culture within your surgical suite by providing feedback and encouraging innovation among staff members who may have ideas for improving efficiency in their department or unit, such as how they schedule patients concerning the type of surgery required or whether certain surgeries should be done together.

Finally, accounting for supply costs associated with each case will help ensure that each one runs smoothly while remaining cost-effective.

  1. Identify Opportunities To Improve Turnover Time Between Cases

Turnover time is the amount of time between cases, and it can be reduced by optimizing the time spent between cases. This means reducing non-surgical activities, such as scrubbing in, moving equipment and supplies around the room, checking patient identification, etc.

Turnover time can also be reduced by optimizing your surgical preparation practices and making sure that any equipment that needs to be used during surgery is ready and available before you begin each case. This includes placing surgical tools within easy reach of where you’re working and having them set up ahead of time so that you don’t need to spend extra minutes finding them when needed.

  1. Create A High-Reliability Culture

When your OR team is focused on the same goal, things get done more efficiently. That’s why each member of your team needs to have a clear understanding of what their role is and how they can help achieve the goals set by management.

When setting goals, it’s essential to understand that everyone has different fitness levels and that some people may be able to achieve specific goals more quickly than others.

Additionally, some employees may prefer long-term improvements over short-term gains. Make sure you take all these factors into account when creating individualized objectives for every member of your team.

Conclusion

The operating room is a place of efficiency and functionality. It’s where lives are saved, but it’s also where mistakes can be made. Therefore, efficiency matters, and it should constantly be improved.

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