Assessing the magnitude and costs of intraoperative inefficiencies attributable to surgical instrument trays.

Published October, 2014

Efficiency in the operating room has become a topic of great interest. This study aimed to quantify the percent use of instruments among common instrument trays across 4 busy surgical services: Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, and Neurosurgery. We further aimed to calculate the costs associated with tray and instrument sterilization, as well as the implications of missing or damaged instruments.

The study demonstrates that the percent use of instruments across surgical specialties and multiple tray types is low. Attention to tray composition is highly likely to result in immediate and significant cost savings.

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