There are lots of hospitals that are looking for ways to make their operating rooms more efficient. Hospitals depend on their operating rooms to generate revenue that funds other departments. Therefore, hospitals need to focus on the most important metrics related to surgical procedures. For example, there are lots of hospital systems that are looking for operating room utilization software programs that can help them make decisions regarding the future of their operating rooms. Ideally, hospitals can shorten the length of procedures so they can fit more of them in every day. What are some of the factors that will dictate how long a procedure lasts?
The Complexity of the Procedure
Of course, the biggest factor that will play a role in the length of the procedure is the complexity of that procedure. There are some procedures that are more complicated than others. For example, if someone is having a Whipple procedure done for pancreatic cancer, it is not unusual for this procedure to last an entire day. On the other hand, if someone is only going to the operating room to have an abscess drained, this procedure should be significantly shorter. There is only so much that hospitals can do, and incredibly complex procedures are always going to take longer. Hospitals need to keep the complexity of the procedure in mind when they set up an OR schedule.
The Anesthesiology Team
Next, the anesthesiology team will also play a role in how long the procedure lasts. Some patients are easier to put to sleep than other people. It is incumbent on the anesthesiology team to talk to patients about their prior anesthesia experiences. If someone had a negative experience in the past, they may take longer to fall asleep this time. Hospitals should consider putting people to sleep outside of the operating room if they want to save time. That way, they can handle any anesthesia complications before they start taking up operating room space. If someone takes a long time to fall asleep, the length of the procedure will lengthen significantly.
The Size of the Patient
Furthermore, the size of the patient is also going to play a role in how long the procedure lasts. Someone who is larger is going to spend more time in the operating room. For example, if someone is having a hernia repair and he or she is obese, it will take much longer for the surgeon to get to the part of the body he or she needs to operate on. In addition, it will take the surgeon longer to close up that patient. Hospitals need to take a look at the average size of their patients and figure out how this impacts operating room time.
The Potential for Complications During the Operation
Finally, hospitals also need to take a look at comorbidities. If someone has a lot of comorbidities, they have a greater chance of developing complications. If a complication develops during the procedure, the procedure will get longer. There are certain commodities, such as diabetes and blood clotting issues, that can dramatically increase the length of an operation. Hospitals may want to keep this in mind when they are figuring out where to put someone. The potential for complications can play a significant role in the average length of a procedure. This can impact the number of procedures an operating room can handle every day.
Improve Efficiency in the Operating Room
In the end, there are lots of factors that will play a role in how long a certain procedure might last. It is important for hospitals to evaluate their operating rooms regularly so they can identify room for improvement. If hospitals can make their operating rooms more efficient, they can perform more procedures every day. This can make a significant difference in the amount of revenue the hospital can generate from its operating rooms. Given that a lot of hospitals depend on their operating rooms to find other departments, it is important to evaluate this regularly. Then, if hospitals can take steps to improve the turnover situation, they can better meet the needs of their patients, generating more revenue in the process.