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More surgeries performed with improved operating room efficiency; predictive analytics operating rooms

3 ways AI supports OR access and experience – for surgeons, staff, and patients

Ashley Walsh, MHA

VP, Client Services, iQueue for Operating Rooms & Inpatient Beds

One of the most expensive assets in the hospital, the operating room (OR), is also one of the most challenging to utilize efficiently. Managing use of the OR is complex and time consuming. Leadership works to drive optimal financial results by ensuring that valuable time, rooms, and specialized equipment are leveraged to their utmost capacity. But despite their best efforts, results often fall short of expectations. A 2020 OR Manager study cited OR utilization hovering around 60% in most facilities.

Leadership is faced with the challenge of both improving utilization while serving the varying interests of stakeholders throughout the OR. Optimizing use of the OR requires solving the complex math involved in matching demand for surgical services with the available supply of resources. Doing so successfully not only optimizes OR resources like staff, rooms, equipment, and supplies, but also serves the needs of surgeons, their offices and their patients.

This complex problem requires an equally sophisticated solution. Deploying AI-powered solutions to support capacity management across the OR yields greater access, reduced burdens, and better experiences for all involved. 

  1. Improve access to OR time for surgeons

Inefficient OR utilization impacts all surgeons and service lines, whose varying complexity of cases can in turn make case lengths unpredictable. Scheduling these cases accurately through manual means is not possible, and attempting to do so results in OR time going unused or being assigned inappropriately. When cases are scheduled inaccurately, allocated blocks go underutilized, and leadership struggles to continue allocating that block time according to actual use. Surgeon’s clinics who do not have block time then struggle to obtain the time they need to perform cases, while clinics who do have block time become reluctant to release it to others.

AI-powered surgical scheduling tools predict probable case mix and length, as well as displaying clear and relevant metrics on actual use of OR time and its future availability.

To continue learning about the benefits of predictive analytics in operating room utilization, for offices and patients as well as surgeons, visit Becker’s Hospital Review

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