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Rush University Medical Center Increased Room Utilization by 3%


Located in downtown Chicago, Rush University Medical Center is a nationally ranked hospital that performs over 44,000 surgeries a year. Rush University Medical Center is ranked as one of the top US hospitals, and has 11 top ranked clinic programs, including three of the best in the state of Illinois. 

With its 38 physical operating rooms and need to recruit new surgeons to grow, Rush University Medical Center had a completely blocked schedule with short auto-release times. This prevented them from optimizing OR capacity and helping surgeons find open operating time to perform their cases. Service lines felt the need to hoard what time they did have and were reluctant to release it, so new surgeons were challenged with finding and reserving time for themselves. Especially after the backlog of delayed cases accumulated from the initial COVID-19 surge in 2020, Rush University Medical Center needed to unlock as much OR capacity as possible while improving block utilization fairly. 

Rush University Medical Center went live with iQueue for Operating Rooms during the pandemic. The implementation immediately made block utilization data visible to surgeons, department leaders and schedulers alike. This single source of truth supported productive, fact-centered discussions about how much time individual surgeons truly needed for their cases, and how to release OR transfer time not being actively used across surgeons and service lines. iQueue also gave surgeons an OpenTable-like platform to proactively reserve and release time. Newer surgeons felt empowered to claim the time they needed, while more senior surgeons felt free to release excess time they did not need. 

Overall, iQueue enabled more cases to be performed in the time and space available, which showed in Rush University Medical Center’s OR utilization results. 

Key Takeaways


Learn how a lack of comprehensive, standardized data leads to blocked OR schedules


Understand why a “scarcity mindset” for time among surgeons contributes to low OR block utilization


Recognize how access to valid data enables and motivates surgeons to better utilize their block allocation


3% increase in overall room utilization
30% increase in OR minutes for top requesters of time
16% decrease in abandoned block time
An increase in time to release from less than 24 hours to 5 days 
One of the most powerful things about iQueue was the data...surgeons really relate to data. The whole concept of surgeons using technology to drive their own scheduling is a lucrative portion of using iQueue.
Janet Stifter
VP Hospital Operations, Perioperative and Interventional Services and Professional Nursing Practice at Rush University Medical Center

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