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Hospital Play #4 – Implementing Parallel Processing to Increase OR Efficiency


With fewer than 20 percent of hospitals hitting their cost targets [i], OR productivity and efficiency remains a high priority to stay competitive in today’s market. Yet, current cost-saving efforts focus primarily on optimizing linear processes rather than seeking to increase productivity by completing tasks in parallel. For example, certain tasks can be completed outside of the OR to reduce procedure time, and activity around the procedure can be orchestrated better.

Parallel processing efforts require a paradigm shift, diligent effort by all members of the surgical team and a more granular understanding of intra-operative activities. Effort in this process must be supported by new tools and enabled with data and analytics.

Our experience enabling procedural optimization and teamwork suggests that successful parallel processing efforts share three success factors.

1. Comparative data: In order to properly benchmark, parallel processing efforts require time and cost data gathered before and after the process is introduced. ExplORer can be used to collect procedural data at all stages of this process.The platform can also A/B test linear and parallel operative processes on the same types of procedures to evaluate efficiency. Data is collected seamlessly without disruption using our device-agnostic application, enabling you to build a full-range of data across an episode of care.

2. Optimized processes. Before launching parallel processing programs, it’s wise to optimize those processes that are going to be performed so they are lean and well understood by staff . With ExplORer, you can map out and test optimized workflows and introduce them into practice prior to moving over to parallel execution. Ensuring teams are coordinated while working on different tasks simultaneously is critical to building confidence and support.


3. Shared workflow and vision. Teamwork is the cornerstone of successful surgeries. The voices and perspectives of all participants must be heard and present in the workflow and goals of the procedure. When this is accomplished, surgical team members fall into a routine, or flow, that elevates individual and collective performance and creates a meaningful sense of team unity. ExplORer creates a shared, dynamic experience for surgical teams in which each role is thoroughly mapped and communicated throughout each procedure (in figure below, from left to right: scrub, circulator, surgeon). Each team member can follow the progression of a case and optimize their contribution while staying aware of teammates’ actions.

If you are considering implementing parallel processes at any stage of the surgical process, we’d love to hear from you and have a conversation about your insights and perspective. Please contact us at info@explorersurgical.com to set up a conversation.

[i] Strata Decision Technology Research, July 2014

About ExplORer Surgical

ExplORer Surgical is a mobile-friendly, cloud-based software platform which provides workflow management for even the most complex surgical procedures. ExplORer Surgical also provides real-time performance and scheduling data to OR administrators to enhance the quality of care and efficiency. Surgical teams use the software to coordinate their activities while managing their tools and supplies in a way never before possible. The result is optimal teamwork, increased efficiency, and high performance.

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