Improving Operating Room Efficiency in Five Days

The book Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals: Simple Steps to Fast, Affordable, Flawless Healthcare (McGraw-Hill; 2011) describes how hospitals can increase quality and cost efficiency. The following excerpt, from the first chapter of the book, provides an example of how one hospital increased the time efficiency in an operating room.  

A Faster Operating Room in Five Days

Copenhagen University Hospital wanted to reduce the time between surgical operations. With some basic analysis, the team implemented the following counter measures to save 60 minutes:
• Surgeon draws an "X" on patient's wristband when the patient has been informed about the operation, allowing anesthesia to begin.
• Prepackaged sterile disposables replaced individual disposables, saving two nurses and 30 minutes.
• Standard checklists ensure that all materials are gathered before the operation starts.
• Anesthetic depth was adjusted so that the patient wakes up when the operation is finished.
• Hospital orderlies move patients to recovery immediately.

Excerpted with permission from McGraw-Hill.

Related Articles on OR Efficiency:

Make a Hospital Faster in 5 Days

Why Turnover Time May Not Be Best Bet for Improving OR Efficiency

How Natural Sunlight Can Positively Affect the Operating Room


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