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Open Access Highly Accessed Correspondence

Operating room data management: improving efficiency and safety in a surgical block

Vanni Agnoletti1*, Matteo Buccioli2, Emanuele Padovani3, Ruggero M Corso1, Peter Perger3, Emanuele Piraccini1, Rebecca Levy Orelli3, Stefano Maitan1, Davide Dell’Amore4, Domenico Garcea5, Claudio Vicini6, Teresa Maria Montella7 and Giorgio Gambale1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Emergency, Anesthesia and Intensive Care Unit, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy

2 Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy

3 Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

4 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy

5 Department of General Surgery, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy

6 Department of Ear Nose and Throat and Cervical Facial Surgery, Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy

7 Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Bologna, Italy

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BMC Surgery 2013, 13:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-13-7

Published: 11 March 2013

Abstract

Background

European Healthcare Systems are facing a difficult period characterized by increasing costs and spending cuts due to economic problems. There is the urgent need for new tools which sustain Hospitals decision makers work. This project aimed to develop a data recording system of the surgical process of every patient within the operating theatre. The primary goal was to create a practical and easy data processing tool to give hospital managers, anesthesiologists and surgeons the information basis to increase operating theaters efficiency and patient safety.

Methods

The developed data analysis tool is embedded in an Oracle Business Intelligence Environment, which processes data to simple and understandable performance tachometers and tables. The underlying data analysis is based on scientific literature and the projects teams experience with tracked data. The system login is layered and different users have access to different data outputs depending on their professional needs. The system is divided in the tree profile types Manager, Anesthesiologist and Surgeon. Every profile includes subcategories where operators can access more detailed data analyses. The first data output screen shows general information and guides the user towards more detailed data analysis. The data recording system enabled the registration of 14.675 surgical operations performed from 2009 to 2011.

Results

Raw utilization increased from 44% in 2009 to 52% in 2011. The number of high complexity surgical procedures (≥120 minutes) has increased in certain units while decreased in others. The number of unscheduled procedures performed has been reduced (from 25% in 2009 to 14% in 2011) while maintaining the same percentage of surgical procedures. The number of overtime events decreased in 2010 (23%) and in 2011 (21%) compared to 2009 (28%) and the delays expressed in minutes are almost the same (mean 78 min). The direct link found between the complexity of surgical procedures, the number of unscheduled procedures and overtime show a positive impact of the project on OR management. Despite a consistency in the complexity of procedures (19% in 2009 and 21% in 2011), surgical groups have been successful in reducing the number of unscheduled procedures (from 25% in 2009 to 14% in 2011) and overtime (from 28% in 2009 to 21% in 2011).

Conclusions

The developed project gives healthcare managers, anesthesiologists and surgeons useful information to increase surgical theaters efficiency and patient safety. In difficult economic times is possible to develop something that is of some value to the patient and healthcare system too.

Keywords:
Operating room; Surgical path; Management; Indicators; Outcomes; Efficiency; Safety; Sustainability