Operating Room Scheduling
Operating room schedules were nearly full despite the fact that there were many unutilized hours. Some surgeons were not moving patients to the hospital because they could not obtain time in the schedule. Plans were being made to add another endoscopy room at a cost of $300,000. Increase the amount of time the operating rooms are used for procedures. If possible, eliminate the need to build an additional endoscopy room
Analysis of the scheduled and used hours revealed that many prime hours were allocated to specific surgeons in blocks without regard to the procedure load. Unused block time could be assigned to other surgeons, but typically too late to be of practical use. It was also discovered that procedures scheduled to start at 8:00 am typically did not start until 8:30 am. The endoscopy room was found to be only 35% utilized, despite the appearance of being fully booked. Work was reorganized to ensure that the first procedures of the day started promptly at 8:00 am. Block time scheduling was revised to allow for easier reallocation of unutilized time slots.
Operating room scheduling changes resulted in 20% more procedures completed. In addition, the addition of the second endoscopy room was cancelled.