Why is this important?
- It can significantly increase total throughput and throughput as referenced by a particular agent (surgeon, anesthesiologist, hospital).
- Increased throughput can be converted into large increases in revenue.
- It can decrease cost for all agents.
- It can decrease risk.
- It can increase satisfaction for all involved.
More accurate predictions give the PACU staff, OR staff, and Anesthesia staff the ability to anticipate a time slot in the OR schedule. It changes the feeling of frenzy and chaos to one of control and accomplishment. Minor changes before the day starts, or as the day progresses, make a big difference.
Below are some of the charts that go with analysis of a hypothetical OR case schedule. The charts are dynamic (within the software program) and can be used for analysis before, during, or after the cases are actually being done. The data is relevant for algorithm creation depending on policies for PACU, surgeons, anesthesia, OR and PACU expansion and architecture design, etc.; or for just maximizing throughput as changes occur.
The Gantt chart on the bottom right shows 19 cases. Four of the surgeons, each with 4 cases, are running parallel rooms (flipping) to decrease their total time in the OR. There are 3 other surgeons, each who does a single case. It would be an easy matter to decrease the number of rooms by 3 (and concomitant staffing) with simple adjustments to the schedule beforehand, or taking advantage of the normal variance in case length as it manifests. Additional surgeon time would be minimal and the effects on staffing can be seen (more so with additional charts). Cases could also be strategically delayed or expedited to decrease costs.
Top left chart: the number of cases starting in the OR for each time slot.
Bottom left chart: the number of cases ending in the OR for each time slot.
Top right chart: the number of cases starting or ending in the OR for each time slot.
click to enlarge