Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Secret of Gritflowness - October 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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I ncreasing case volumes is the obvious way to infuse your facility with additional rev- enue. Looking at ways to improve efficiencies, limit waste and make smart purchasing decisions are also important factors that ultimately contribute to running a fiscally sound facility. Your choic- es surrounding case scheduling, investments in capital equipment and supply buys must always be made with an eye on the bottom line because reducing expenses is anoth- er effective way to pad profits. Time well spent Filling out your daily surgical sched- ule based on estimates of how long procedures last instead of actual case times leads to a cascade of problems, including paying staff to stand around in empty ORs waiting for the next case to start. The first way to address this issue is to realize that case times shouldn't be defined as the time that elapses between when incisions are made and when they're closed. Patients have to be positioned, prepped and anesthetized before surgery and woken up and moved to recovery afterward. If your historic scheduled case times are recorded using start-to-end times, meaning only the length of the procedure itself, I recommend adding at least 10 minutes to that time to reflect the more accurate in-room/out-room time. Consider investing in a software package to eval- uate your historic case time data and use that infor- mation to schedule cases based on how long they typically last, not how long you think they last. Take the additional time to break down the data by pro- cedure and long-term averages. Doing so is helpful if surgeons question the recorded case times and point to an extenuating circumstance with a single procedure. Having procedure-grouped data lets you show that a certain procedure routinely takes longer than the time for which it was scheduled, 5 6 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • O C T O B E R 2 0 2 0 Cherokee Gonzalez, RN, BSN | Tampa, Fla. Smart Ways to Save Money Pinching pennies and saving big dollars can add up to significant profits. ON THE CLOCK Scheduling software can help you analyze data surrounding your OR usage time — and give you the hard facts you need to make the case to surgeons that changes are needed. All photos by Cherokee Gonzalez, RN, BSN

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