How Anesthesia Can Help Improve Operating Room Turnover Time

Your anesthesia department should not be pulling down your operating room turnover rates. Rather, there are many ways your anesthesia providers can help to improve operating room performance. By making improvements in surgical start times and room turnover processes, your facility’s operational and financial efficiencies will also improve. With CCI Anesthesia, you will have a team of anesthesia providers who do more than simply provide high quality anesthesia care—they will become trusted teammates who work hard to close gaps and support your performance goals.  

Who is Responsible for Operating Room Efficiency?

No department wants to shoulder the blame for creating operating room inefficiencies. These issues can often lead to finger-pointing, but it is essential to accept improving operating room turnover time as a shared initiative and mutual goal among multiple departments. The best way to achieve a common goal of improved operating room performance is by first establishing a multidisciplinary team to analyze existing processes from all angles. At least one representative from each department serving the operating room should participate on this team. 

Define Goals and Measurables 

The first order of business for the multidisciplinary team looking to improve surgical start times and room turnover rates should be to clearly define goals and how they will be measured. The team should also agree on the definition of an “on-time start” and “room turnover time.” Once these elements are defined, a conversation on how and when they will be measured should occur. These are key data points that are essential to being able to accurately study operating room efficiencies. 

Analyze Data and Determine a Starting Point

Collecting data from past and current cases will help to determine a baseline or starting point for efficiency improvement initiatives. Look for turnover variances among different surgeons and anesthesia providers. Another area worth analyzing is time spent between a patient’s check-in at the facility and their case start time. There are a myriad of data points to collect and assess that will shine a light on areas that are in need of improved efficiency. 

Create a Patient Timeline

Next, the multidisciplinary team charged with improving surgical start times and case turnover rates should create a patient experience timeline. This timeline should begin when the patient is instructed to arrive at the facility and include what time they undergo their preoperative assessment, what time they enter the operating room, what time the case ends and what time the next case begins. Establish what the current patient timeline is, then create a goal timeline to work toward. 

Meeting Unique Needs of Every Surgeon 

CCI Anesthesia providers maintain excellent relationships with the surgeons they serve and work hard to meet each surgeon’s unique needs. Our goal is to support surgeons in every way possible, and the best way for our providers to do that is through clear communication. When it comes to implementing new time-saving processes, our providers are open-minded and proficient. 

Consider Your Anesthesia Staffing Model

If you are still unable to improve your surgical start times and operating room turnover rates, you may need to consider a change to your anesthesia staffing model. For example, if your current anesthesia staffing model requires staggered starts for the first cases of the day for your anesthesiologist to be present at inductions, you might consider a larger supervision ratio. Changes to your staffing model can lead to significant time savings and make a tremendous impact on your budget. 

If you are interested in learning more about how your anesthesia department can help improve operating room turnover rates and efficiencies, give us a call at 800.494.3948. With a few details about your facility and unique situation, we can provide insight that will certainly improve your bottom line.