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attract surgeons and requiring cancel- lation notices far enough in advance to enable the ASC to fill that block time if the surgeon needs to cancel. Establish clear and simple ground rules up front with all of your surgeons. Surgeons have to be happy, or you don’t get any cases, but when it comes to managing your OR time, you need to establish a delicate balance to maintain the level of efficiency that everyone expects. Your anesthesia providers don’t want to sit waiting and your ASC can’t assign staff appropriately when block time gets mismanaged. Help everyone involved understand that they have to follow your guidelines for your OR schedule to run on time. Relationship balancing is key. Make a commitment to getting

Efficiency Measures

Best practices that can help your ASC run its operating room on time. BY DAVID JULIEN

Let’s face it; everyone in your ASC wants an ef- ficient operating room (OR). Surgeons and pa- tients want procedures

to start and end on time, and facilities want efficiency so they can be compet- itive and cost-efficient and make their patients and their family members as comfortable as possible during their visit. Many best practices that can help boost OR efficiency in your facility are easy to put in place and follow. Make sure your anesthesia pro-

viders are involved early in the pro- cess. The need to involve your anesthe- sia provider in the pursuit of an efficient OR cannot be overemphasized. First, they must be flexible about start times. Encourage that flexibility by involving them in the process early. To eliminate

started on time. One late start time can throw a whole day off schedule. One best practice that efficient centers rely on is honoring the sanctity of their start times, beginning with the first case. Both the anesthesia providers and the surgeons need to be in your ASC on time to start on time. One cannot proceed without the

The need to involve your anesthesia provider in the pursuit of an efficient operating room cannot be overemphasized.”

—David Julien, abeo

canceled cases and delays, they need to know which cases are appropriate for your surgery center. They also have to pre-qualify patients and evaluate their level of acuity. Often, cancellations and delays can be avoided if the anes- thesiologist calls each patient the day before his or her procedure to make sure that everything is in order. Manage your block time carefully.

Some facilities give out too much block time and some manage it ineffectively. The most efficient ASCs strike a bal- ance between providing block time to

other. Are people in your cases accus- tomed to showing up late because oth- ers often arrive late and have set a prec- edent? What incentives can you put in place to help all of these people come to- gether and show up on time? Is everyone involved receiving regular emails from your ASC that indicate their start times far enough in advance to help them make certain they arrive on time? Collect and analyze time data.

Correct time estimates and data reports are critical. Put a system in place that can accurately record your OR turnover

The advice and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion. 26 ASC FOCUS FEBRUARY 2013

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