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iQueue for Operating Rooms Case Study – Dignity Health

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Dignity Health is a nonprofit network of more than 40 acute care hospitals, and 400-plus care centers, including community hospitals, urgent care, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Collectively, the Dignity Health network includes more than 250 operating rooms.


Dignity Health joined together with Catholic Health Initiatives in early 2019 to create a new nonprofit Catholic health system dedicated to serving the common good: CommonSpirit Health.

Dignity Health Perioperative Services found that utilizing traditional block management methods for surgical schedules resulted in a lack of foresight into what block time would ultimately go unused, limiting OR access. They relied on a time-consuming manual release process dependent on each physician’s office. Outdated “phone and fax” methods to change schedules were inefficient and unproductive. Additionally, there was low accountability for block time using block utilization as the metric. It was hard to hold block owners accountable using a one-dimensional metric. Influence, not data, often drove allocation.

With limited visibility and transparency of key metrics, valuable information was buried in hundreds of reports that were time-consuming to produce and consume. Valuable OR time went unused, impacting surgeon satisfaction, patient access and hospital ROI. Dignity Health leadership realized they needed a predictive and prescriptive approach to analyze and increasing OR utilization. It was time to adopt a new technology and realize a greater return on investment.


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To address the aforementioned problem, the Dignity Health Executive Leadership team searched for a solution that aligned with and promoted their enterprise core values of collaboration, inclusion, integrity, and excellence. They partnered with LeanTaaS to deploy iQueue for Operating Rooms’ three modules system-wide. Dignity Health’s parent company, CommonSpirit Health, facilitated the deployment process through a collaboration between Patient Care Services (Perioperative Services) and IT Digital and Software Engineering teams.

The tools were operationalized by key OR stakeholders who provided their OR expertise, and also by physician outreach/market representatives and business development liaisons who provided a market perspective. This created a closed-loop cycle that synergized in-house hospital personnel with market development and sales to comprehensively merge actual OR conditions-to-market positions.

The three aforementioned modules – Analyze, Collect, and Exchange – address three main pillars to improve OR performance and efficiencies: Visibility, Accountability, and Accessibility


Exchange created OR access for surgeons needing time through an Open Table-like “marketplace for Open Time.” It encouraged the proactive release of allocated block time and created transparency into open time.


Utilizing Collect, a much more actionable and surgeon-centric methodology to analyze block usage, changed Block Policy to focus on large chunks of unused block time that were truly reusable by the OR – “Collectable Time” instead of “Block Utilization.”


Analyze created a single source of truth for understanding OR performance and decision making. Significantly improving provider engagement, it shed light on credible performance metrics through mobile and web “push.”


The 36 hospital locations in aggregate have achieved an additional contribution margin upwards of 14.5x ROI over the span of 18 months.

All comparative figures based May 2019 – December 2020 compared to previous YoY.

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Increase in staffed room utilization
Increase in Blocks Released
Release Fill Rate
Days Release Proactivity
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