Background & Problem Summary

Organizations who choose to implement Department Explorer: Surgical Services often do so in response to these pressures:

  • Need to support profitability. Historically, preop, operating rooms, and PACU have been areas of profitability, but reimbursement changes and other financial pressures stress the need to improve operating room efficiency and resource allocation.
  • Need to facilitate analysis of OR data. A common difficulty in analyzing surgical services operations is ensuring that metrics align with goals. Highlighting surgical services data facilitates analysis of unique operating room process paths.

Accelerator Overview

Multiple views of operational, financial, and utilization data—serving up insight for improvement of perioperative processes

Department Explorer: Surgical Services presents OR data separate from that of other hospital functions, giving users visibility into patient prep, anesthesia prep, room turnaround, room and staff scheduling, and procedure data. This yields insight into improvement opportunities that may contribute to outcomes such as growth in surgical cases, quicker surgical throughput, fewer OR minutes lost to delays, and increased efficiency of block-time utilization.

Benefits and Features

Access easy-to-consume, OR-specific data at the granularity you need.

The application provides a summary view—with detail drill-down capabilities—of metrics that reflect operational efficiency. The result? You can quickly and easily identify areas to improve.

Identify and understand trends and variation.

Tracking and trending historical volume, procedure, and scheduling data provide actionable information for identification of best practice as it relates to scheduling, block-time utilization, and resource consumption. The application also allows for provider-level case comparison by procedure to further inform improvement efforts.

Use Cases

  • The Administrative Director of Surgical Services wants to increase the percentage of surgical first case, on-time starts. She uses the application to review first starts and to gauge the impact of late starts on resources; this helps her build a business case for work in this area. Next she and a small work team use the app to discover and prioritize the root causes of late starts (e.g., delayed surgeon, patient not ready, room/supplies not ready), and after interventions to address these causes begin, the team uses the app to track progress.
  • The Surgical Chief of Staff assembles a small team to find ways to speed OR room turnover. Using the app, they set appropriate targets for turnover based on comparison with best practices. After education and the roll out of the improvement initiative, the team uses the application to monitor staff performance in this area and scan for additional opportunities to improve efficiency.

Key Measures

  • Volumes
  • Throughput times (e.g., turnaround, first case on-time starts)
  • Scheduling (e.g., block utilization, room utilization)
  • Efficiency comparatives (e.g., performance vs. expectation for start times, case times, turnaround times)