Abigail J. Fong, MBA,a,b Meghan Smith, MBA,a,c and Alexander Langerman, MD, SMa,c,*
a University of Chicago Operative Performance Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois
b Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
c Department of Surgery, Section of OtolaryngologydHead and Neck Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Hospitals and health systems must focus on improving efficiency to meet the increasing demands for high-quality, low- cost care. Although much has been written about the need and strategies to improve efficiency of the preoperative and post and/or inter-operative periods,1 the intra-operative period- when the patient is in the operating room (OR)dhas received less attention. Yet, the intra-operative period is the primary OR experience, the basis for procedure billing, and the period of time over which surgeons may have the most influence.
Most surgical dollars are spent in the OR,2 making this a high-priority target for efficiency efforts. As the public be- comes more aware of differences in health care spending,3,4 hospitals may hold surgeons more responsible for control- ling variable OR costs.5,6 Beyond this, surgeons have addi- tional incentives for OR efficiencydtime savings may translate to an earlier finish or the opportunity to perform more cases during the same block time. Because surgeons direct and perform surgical care on behalf of their patients, they are in the ideal position to ensure that efficiency im- provements do not threaten patient care. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.