Predicting Surgical Case Duration

Surgeon holding clock

Predicting surgical case durations is an important element of reversing operating room inefficiencies. Routinely overestimating or underestimating the amount of time a case may take can wreak havoc on the entire perioperative care continuum and result in costly budget overages or missed revenue opportunities. When our clients are motivated to better predict surgical case duration and thereby improve operating room efficiencies, we are always eager to help.

How Anesthesia Can Help Predict Case Durations

In the modern age of surgery and anesthesia care, data is a powerful tool to increase the efficacy of procedures and improve outcomes for all patients. CCI Anesthesia is committed to capturing valuable data points that are always openly accessible to our partners. Our anesthesia practice management teams monitor operational efficiency in real-time through our tablet-based EMR system, while our clinical informatics team maintains a constant watch on quality metrics. We openly share this information with administrators who are looking to reduce costs, increase efficiency, improve quality and experience better clinical outcomes across their health system, hospital or surgery center.

How to Improve Surgical Case Duration Estimates 

Accurately predicting surgical case times should be a team effort. Reviewing historical case duration metrics is helpful, but using this strategy alone is not ideal since there are many other factors that can influence case duration. Adjustments for case complexity should always be accounted for and may be influenced by the patient’s body mass index, level of acuity, age, comorbidities and other factors. Since anesthesia providers must account for these complicating factors in their anesthetic care plans and charting, anesthesia data can be extremely valuable in improving surgical case duration estimates. 

Surgeon Case Duration Estimates

Surgeons lead the team effort toward accurately predicting surgical case durations. Keep in mind, however, that one surgeon may consistently perform a certain case type faster or slower than another surgeon. As you receive surgery time estimates from surgeons, consider asking follow-up questions to investigate whether a surgeon may be experiencing barriers beyond their control to shortening surgery times. Having thoughtful conversations with surgeons can lead to uncovering issues that can be easily resolved and result in improved operating room efficiency. 

Optimizing the Entire Perioperative Care Continuum 

Aside from helping to predict surgical case duration, your anesthesia practice management company can implement numerous other initiatives to increase efficiencies across the entire perioperative care continuum. For example, regional anesthesia can lead to less time spent in PACU, faster recoveries, and reduced inpatient stays. Choosing opioid-free anesthetic agents can also help with reduced time spent in PACU as it reduces risks for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). As an added benefit, reduced PONV results in higher patient satisfaction scores. At CCI Anesthesia, we strive to educate our anesthesia providers on opioid-free anesthesia techniques so that facilities wanting to implement opioid-reducing strategies are prepared to do so at every level of the patient care continuum.

Anesthesia’s Role in Operating Room Efficiency

Your anesthesia practice management company should not perceive their role in the operating room as merely providing an on-demand service. Rather, your anesthesia practice management company should be your integrated partner in helping you achieve your facility’s efficiency, patient satisfaction, and quality-related goals. From our anesthesia providers to our executive team, CCI Anesthesia is here to help, and our anesthesia informatics are always available to help guide your decision-making processes. 

If predicting surgical case duration is a struggle for your facility, contact us today at 800.494.3948. We can apply our approach to using anesthesia data in ways that will reverse inefficiencies and reduce costs for your hospital or surgery center.