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Operations engineering for more efficient operating rooms
Date:12/2/2008

hen to move patients and overall performance.
  • Develop an accurate published schedule based on past history of surgery and realistic turnover times for all surgeries scheduled in advance.
  • Define scheduling rules so as to avoid bottlenecks, such as equipment shortages, and manage housekeeping support.
  • Implement checklists to avoid delays due to incomplete paperwork on the day of surgery.
  • Implement communications to alert surgeons and anesthesiologists to the time they are needed in the operating room for the next case and when patients are available for interviewing.
  • Create a stable staffing level for housekeeping through the workday.
  • Implement a report card that lets staff know how they are performing and circulate this information widely as an improvement incentive.
  • Three other hospitals, including San Francisco General in Northern California and Valley Presbyterian and St Francis Hospital in Southern California are now working with the Viterbi School team.

    The kind of conditions observed and changes recommended are exemplified in one section of the report, discussing general factors involved in the problem:

    "Patient flow in surgery consists of several sequential steps. Just as in a manufacturing flow or other sequential processes, there must be a balance of capacity and a smooth flow of patients. Late arrival at any one step creates delays in subsequent steps. Often a crucial step is the pre-op holding area just before the patient is moved into the operating room. The patient must be in pre-op in sufficient time for interviews by the clinical staff, checking of paperwork and various clinical tasks.

    "If the patient arrives without sufficient time before the start of surgery, then the surgery start will be delayed until all the interviews and paperwork is completed. We often found that patients arrived in pre-op less than 15 minutes before surgery was s
    '/>"/>

    Contact: Eric Mankin
    mankin@usc.edu
    213-821-1887
    University of Southern California
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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