Smart Surgery

Solving the OR Scheduling Dilemma with Block Marketplace, Data and AI

06 Oct 2022

Operating Room (OR) management trends showed, even before the pandemic, an increased focus on utilization, waiting time, overtime, and financial performance.1 Recent research emphasizes the importance of a well-run OR: the operating room accounts for approximately 50 percent of a hospital’s revenue and 25 percent of its expenses.2

Recent research emphasizes the importance of a well-run OR: the operating room accounts for approximately 50% of a hospital's revenue and 25% of its expenses.2

So now, more than ever, Directors of Perioperative Services are looking for ways to maximize OR utilization while minimizing cost, focusing on the efficiency of scheduling to increase volume and positively impact revenue. 

Actionable insights for fact-based decision making

OR managers are always looking for reliable data around Block Utilization to ensure that decisions can be made based on facts. When generating reports from the electronic medical records (EMR) system, the data is not always accurate because it does not have the ability to do calculations and drill down to figure out what is going on with a particular surgeon or block. And when the data is not accurate, physicians will not support the findings in their reports.  

Using the latest OR scheduling software gives managers a convenient metrics dashboard and benchmark reporting. There are approximately 21 reports with detailed drill-down capability that cover OR and PACU. This makes it possible to generate a report in only four to five clicks, making it easier to pull the data, orient it graphically, and export it as a pdf, so it is ready to drop into a PowerPoint presentation for the Department of Surgery and Surgery Executive Committee meetings. 

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Visualizing block utilization to optimize OR efficiency

Caresyntax OR block tree-map

OR Block Utilization Tree Map

The block utilization tree map quickly shows which blocks to focus on for the greatest impact. Green shows those areas that are meeting target OR utilization goals. Yellow draws attention to those that are performing under target and red are places that need attention. Sizes indicate time allocation, so OR Managers can quickly see which areas are taking up the most time and need attention.   

Caresyntax concurrent utilization graphic

Enabled Reports help you understand if you should run more ORs at a given time of day, or if weekend staffing should be implemented versus on-call staffing.

Concurrent Utilization 

The concurrent utilization graphic shows how many ORs are running at any given time. OR Managers can look by day of the week, time of day, etc. This helps identify if they should run more ORs at a given time of day, or if weekend staffing should be implemented versus on-call staffing.  

Block Marketplace 

OR Blocks are one of the most valuable resources in a hospital but the demand and supply of OR Blocks are not managed in a dynamic way. Consumer solutions like “Open Table” are solving similar problems of matching demand and supply with restaurant tables. The Block Marketplace solution enables OR Blocks to become a more liquid resource and increases Block Utilization 

Block Marketplace provides dynamic access to open block time--matches demand and supply--from Surgeons and Practice Schedulers to Hospital OR Schedulers and OR Directors.

Caresyntax Block Marketplace alerts

Automated surgeon and office alerts: Block Release notification, Open Time notification & Block Marketplace Scheduling

The Block Marketplace provides friendly nudges to prompt surgeons and/or their office schedulers to release or schedule earlier based on their scheduling behavior. For example, if Dr. Smith typically schedules her cases 4 weeks in advance, and a case hasn’t been scheduled 3 weeks out, a friendly nudge can prompt Dr. Smith to either release her block or schedule a case. This allows new Open Time to be available much earlier than the default block release time of 48 hours or 72 hours. The Block Marketplace also can proactively inform surgeons about new open time, and it will enable surgeons to find open time and conveniently schedule cases, thus improving Block Utilization and surgeon satisfaction. submit forms, and track documentation. 

 The Block Marketplace also eliminates the need for more manual processes, such as faxing and phone calls. The surgeon's office can submit forms and track documentation related to Insurance verification and Pre-Admission Testing. Patient intake departments can now see at a glance if all the required documentation has been submitted for review.  The system provides automated prompts to office schedulers to provide any missing documentation such as H&P, or insurance authorization.  And the defined fields, timing of prompts, and views are customizable. 

Leveraging predictive AI for case volumes, OR staffing & block recommendations

Caresyntax is leveraging AI to give OR managers a telescope into the future, so they can increase utilization, manage OR staffing capacity, and improve their perioperative efficiency.

White glove support with data and block blitzes

The Caresyntax Customer Success team can help you conduct detailed holistic metrics and block reviews annually on-site and biannually remotely. This ensures continued support and education even with leadership changes and changes of medical staff. These "blitz" sessions allow you to refine and add new metrics, in addition to focusing on block metrics, stewardship, and the financial picture. This offers a more holistic view of how ORs are being used.  Capacity, block utilization, and usable time are all available for review and changes and improvements can be mutually agreed upon to improve performance.

Want to learn more about Caresyntax solutions and white glove service for block utilization and the new block marketplace feature? 


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Written by Caresyntax

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