We examine operating room productivity on the example of hospitals in Germany with independent anesthesiology departments. Linked to anesthesiology group literature, we use the ln(Total Surgical Time/Total Anesthesiologists Salary) as a proxy for operating room productivity. We test the association between operating room productivity and different structural, organizational and management characteristics based on survey data from 87 hospitals. Our empirical analysis links improved operating room productivity to greater operating room capacity, appropriate scheduling behavior and management methods to realign interests. From this analysis, the enforcing jurisdiction and avoiding advance over-scheduling appear to be the implementable tools for improving operating room productivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complexity of the operating room (OR) requires that both structural (eg, department layout) and behavioral (eg, staff interactions) patterns of work be considered when developing quality improvement strategies. In our study, we investigated how these contextual factors influence outpatient OR processes and the quality of care delivered. The study setting was a German university-affiliated hospital performing approximately 6000 outpatient surgeries annually. During the 3-year-study period, the hospital significantly changed its outpatient OR facility layout from a decentralized (ie, ORs in adjacent areas of the building) to a centralized (ie, ORs in immediate vicinity of each other) design. To study the impact of the facility change on OR processes, we used a mixed methods approach, including process analysis, process modeling, and social network analysis of staff interactions. The change in facility layout was seen to influence OR processes in ways that could substantially affect patient outcomes. For example, we found a potential for more errors during handovers in the new centralized design due to greater interdependency between tasks and staff. Utilization of the mixed methods approach in our analysis, as compared with that of a single assessment method, enabled a deeper understanding of the OR work context and its influence on outpatient OR processes.
Quality management in health care 10/2009; 18(4):305-14. DOI:10.1097/QMH.0b013e3181bee2c6
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Industrial management principles could be used to improve the quality and efficiency of health care. In this study, we have evaluated the effects of a process management approach to trauma patient care. The major objective was to reduce the waiting times and increase the efficiency of the hospital.
Urgent surgery care was analyzed as an overall process. The process development followed the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and was based on statistical analysis of certain performance metrics. Data were collected from hospital databases and by personnel interviews. To develop the process, the anesthesia induction was performed outside the operating room, better process guidance was developed, and patient flow was reorganized. The transition time for these changes was 1 year (2002 to 2003).
Waiting times decreased by 20.5 percent (p < .05), nonoperative times in the operating room were reduced by 23.1 percent (p < .001), and efficiency was increased by 9.7 percent (p < .001) after reengineering of the care process. Overtime hours decreased by 30.9 percent.
Managing urgent surgical care as a process can improve the productivity and quality of care without a need to increase personnel resources. The focus should be on reducing waiting times and waste times.
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 04/2006; 22(2):255-60. DOI:10.1017/S0266462306051087 · 1.31 Impact Factor
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