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times. The importance of room turnover times must be understood by everyone involved, and these times must be re- corded the same way each time by every- one who records them. We recommend using the following definition for turn- over time: from the second the ASC staff enters the OR to the second the ASC staff leaves the OR room after cleanup. Others might use slightly different varia- tions, but to effectively analyze efficien- cy in your OR, you need to evaluate the process from beginning to end. Once you’ve completed an analysis, you can dig deeper into a number of variables, for example, trying to identify individuals who are consistently involved with inef- ficient cases. Examining particular case types and combinations of surgeons and anesthesia providers might reveal that a particular individual is consistently late or consistently slow. Once you identify

Strike a balance between providing block time to attract surgeons and requiring cancellation notices far enough in advance to enable the ASC to fill that block time if the surgeon needs to cancel.”

—David Julien, abeo

these issues, you can improve your OR efficiency by addressing them. Schedule your cases strategically.

Staff responsible for preparing and cleaning the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) cannot do their job efficiently if cases are ending at the same time. Make sure to stagger yours. Consider the strategy behind the time of day cer- tain case types are scheduled. As data is collected and analyzed you should be able to determine which types of cases to schedule during different times of day to improve patient flow and estab-

lish optimum efficiency in your surgery center. Factoring in the types of cases and the lengths of the cases that your ASC performs can prevent a backup in the PACU and eliminate the need to turn over too many rooms at the same time. A tightly run OR makes life easier

for physicians, nurses and all of the employees at an ASC. It also helps you make sure that your patients get the highest quality treatment and care.

David Julien is the senior vice president of abeo in San Diego, California.



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