I’ve been experimenting with a new scheduler. There are many options for visually representing information about OR cases. The scheduler is easily adapted for collecting data to analyze later. The scheduler also has a map view that can include even more visual parameters… a multivariable categorical analyst’s dream.
(click on image for larger view) [Each room shows the multiple people involved in one case]
Surprisingly, most OR schedulers have very little information readily available to see the ‘whole’ picture: multiple people temporally coordinating their actions at one location (with support from off-site) with the ability to abruptly alter their plans. Sounds like a military campaign, doesn’t it. Can you imagine admirals and generals standing in front of the typical OR board and planning a coordinated air and land attack on Bagdad during the Iraqi war? The tools would be woefully inadequate, the strategy disjoint. So why do we use backward systems for coordinating medical operations? So much time and resources are wasted because it’s so hard to see what’s going on where with who, and when. (reminds me of an Abbott and Costello routine: YouTube – Who’s on first?)
In this scenario:
In real time, you can run the OR and keep track of the time that anyone (or any equipment) from any department is involved with a specific OR case. Most of the data for individuals has already been set up, and the corresponding times are easily adjusted with drag and drop functionality.
The icon in front of each operation name is unique to the department doing the operation. The icon in front of each person is unique to that person’s department and rank in the department so that a description is not necessary to know how each department is represented in the room.
For this screen save, I decided to let the vertical lines show when the supervising anesthesiologist has to be present for a surgical case whether doing it herself, or supervising. For Dr. Jenny, her vertical color is red. For Dr. Jack, his vertical color is black. Each has two cases, and each can easily see where and when she is needed. I could just as easily show vertical lines for any individual which would lead directly to the cases in which they are involved without losing any of the context of those cases (other people involved, room, time frame, etc).
Other areas of the hospital can be added to the schedule such as clinics, radiology, or ER.