In ambulatory surgery centers, efficient operating rooms result in optimized schedules, higher patient volume, and streamlined operating processes. Facilities struggling with inefficiencies risk dangerous mistakes and longer operating times which can affect patient outcomes. On the business end, longer surgeries and wider scheduling mean lost potential revenue.
What Causes Operating Room Inefficiencies?
Some examples of common operating room inefficiencies include:
- Malfunction of surgical devices.
- Missing or misplaced surgical supplies.
- Disorganized operating room layouts.
- Poor communication with patients.
- Scheduling errors.
Addressing Operating Room Inefficiencies
1) Avoid Equipment Issues
Unavailable equipment leads to delays and even cancellations. This can be addressed by establishing a reliable supply chain and setting well-defined purchasing processes. To avoid shortages or procurement issues, have alternative suppliers in mind for each product.
Damaged or broken tools are another source of inefficiency. Scheduling regular cleaning and maintenance checks on tools helps to avoid unexpected damage that leads to delays in surgery. Cleaning and maintenance services can also be arranged through external companies, which is an option suited to surgery centers with limited capacity.
After joining CNECT, many surgery centers take advantage of our discounted prices on cleaning equipment that extends the lifespan of their surgical tools. We have also negotiated reduced rates on cleaning and medical services with multiple reputable suppliers.
2) Digitize the Surgery Scheduling Process
Some surgery centers still rely on antiquated surgery scheduling methods, using phone calls, emails, faxes, and pen and paper. These methods leave no room for human error. Adopting a digital approach reduces the likelihood of errors occurring and lightens the workload of administrative staff.
Automated surgery scheduling systems benefit patients, schedulers, and surgeons. They are faster and more efficient than outdated methods and allow surgery centers to identify potential issues that may disrupt surgeries in advance, such as missing patient information, staff schedule conflicts, and equipment availability.
Thanks to our extensive I.T. portfolio, CNECT delivers savings on the hardware and software surgery centers need to improve efficiency with the adoption of automated digital systems.
3) Optimize Operating Room Design
The design and layout of an operating room plays a crucial role in allowing surgeons and staff to carry out surgeries seamlessly. Whether it’s the position of furniture or the location of tools, every element of the operating room has a role to play in maximizing efficiency.
Collaboration with surgeons enables surgery center staff to document the optimal operating room layouts for each procedure and to meet the preference of each surgeon. Purchasing the furniture and equipment preferred by surgeons also contributes to more efficient surgeries.
CNECT members have access to discounted rates on support from professional operating room designers, who build bespoke layouts that fit the needs of surgeons. Surgery centers also utilize reduced prices on operating room furniture from various well-known suppliers through their CNECT membership.
4) Ensure Patients Are Prepared for Surgery
While most inefficiencies occur within the surgery center, patients are an external factor that impacts surgical schedules.
Automated messaging systems are a low-effort, high-impact solution to patients causing surgeries to be delayed or cancelled. They inform patients of when their surgery is at multiple stages prior to the appointment and can easily communicate any schedule changes or updates to patients.
CNECT provides members with access to a series of patient engagement solutions, including messaging systems, which automate communication between surgery centers and patients. These solutions drive operating room efficiency and also lead to improved patient-provider relations.
5) Minimize Operating Room Costs
The cost of running an operating room is around $1,000 per hour. Reducing overhead costs is one way to begin addressing inefficiencies.
Lowering operational costs allows surgery centers to:
- Maximize Profit Margins
- Combat Low Reimbursement Rates
- Free-up Funds to Complete Other Efficiency-Driving Measures
At CNECT, we support surgery centers in accessing discounted prices on the equipment they need to run their operating rooms and perform surgeries. Lowering the cost of purchasing supplies drives down operational spending and provides financial breathing space to make impactful changes elsewhere.
Achieve Operating Room Efficiency with CNECT
Inefficiencies in your operating room affect your profitability, the morale of your staff, and your relationship with patients. Don’t let preventable issues impact your surgery center — join CNECT today and save on the solutions that help you achieve operating room efficiency.