There’s no question that hospitals and all healthcare providers must operate with greater efficiency these days, just to stay solvent and continue to be profitable. Like all other areas of the hospital, operating room efficiency is an absolute must, since there is so much potential for unnecessary actions and wasted movements. You should consider using one or more of the suggestions described below, so your OR can become more efficient and generate far less waste during normal operation.
Since so many procedures take place in the operating room, it’s critical to make the best use of the space, personnel, and time spent in the area. That means any scheduling gaps between procedures should be reduced or eliminated to the greatest extent possible, and that utilization of the room is maximized. By reducing usage gaps, you’ll also make more efficient use of OR staffers, so they are being utilized as much as possible.
A better back table system
The real efficiency advantage of this system – called the DinamicOR Back Table Solution – stems from the fact that this back table arrangement allows for 92 percent visibility of all surgical instruments, and that can save a ton of time and movement when trying to locate a needed tool. In fact, ORs that have implemented the DinamicOR Back Table Solution have increased turnover time by an average of 33 percent. The system provides an adjustable back table, a drape, and the DinamicOR+ app, which offers some useful recommendations on improving surgical workflow procedures.
Lean management involves identifying inefficiencies in your process at the earliest possible stage, so those inefficiencies aren’t allowed to ripple through to other areas. Some possibilities would be to conduct workshops on better organization, improve workflows wherever possible, implementing good team management, and conducting 5S events. 5S events are part of the 6 Sigma process and include the following activities: sorting, straightening, sweeping, standardizing, and sustaining. They are designed to minimize waste and increase productivity due to better organization and achieving more consistent operational results.
Collaborate with surgeons
Obviously, your OR surgeons are critical personnel in any surgical setting, so working with surgeons to achieve efficiencies can be a very valuable initiative. Find out what the preferences and needs are for your staff surgeons, and work with them to achieve greater organization and preparedness for daily activities. This can cut down considerably on waste and may also lead to improved outcomes for patients.
Increase utilization percentage
The way to increase utilization percentage in the OR is to conduct a comprehensive study of all activities and personnel which impact the operating room. Once you’ve done this, it should be easy to identify areas where waste is generated, and it should be just as easy to implement improved procedures that will make better use of the OR and all its facilities.
During the present era of low margins and increasing medical costs, it has become more important than ever to run a tight ship in your operating room. Some of the best ways of doing that are through lean management, supporting your surgeons, increasing capacity and utilization, and making instrument retrieval simple and efficient. If you’re serious about becoming more efficient in the OR, these suggestions should do the trick for you.