The purpose was to improve the level of efficiency and patient safety within the new OR department, and to ensure a fair distribution of hospital resources among healthcare professionals.
The research team of Forlì Hospital performed two main experiments periods from 2006 to 2008, then transformed in routines between 2009 and 2012. The aim of the first experimentation was to develop a system called ‘data recording system’ (DRS) to render the surgical path transparent and intelligible by tracking timestamps along different stages of the surgical path process.
The aims of the second experimentation consisted of tracking the whole 16 surgical path process steps and increasing the quantity and quality (reducing incompleteness in tracking) of data concerning the surgical process. To overcome the data quality problems the hospital research team introduced a series of improvements.
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).