Surgery analytics

A hospital’s surgery department is often its biggest driver of revenue. As such, it’s important that surgical procedures start and end on time and are appropriately staffed. It’s also important that surgical rooms are turned around quickly and that surgery departments are minimally impacted by unexpected procedures.

Many surgery departments aren’t running at peak efficiency, but hospital administration is unclear as to the drivers of inefficiency. How can administrators better understand how to optimize the performance of their surgery departments? Here’s a look at some challenges and how surgery analytics can help.

Challenge #1: Continually late start times

Late starting surgeries can impact your hospital in myriad ways. For starters, a procedure that starts late will end late. And that can have a snowball effect on procedures for the rest of the day as operating rooms and staff resources are impacted. It can also impact patient satisfaction scores as patients are left nervously waiting for their procedures to begin. It could impact providers’ quality of life, as they continually have to stay late to finish their day’s work.

The question is: do you know why procedures are starting late? Surgery analytics can help you find the root causes. For example, it could help you determine:

  • Are there certain physicians who are continually starting surgeries late?
  • Are your turnaround times too high, meaning rooms aren’t ready for surgeries when they should be?
  • Are there a high number of unplanned surgeries that are negatively impacting your schedule?

Challenge #2: Staffing and reimbursement

In order to staff your surgery department most effectively, you need to understand critical metrics such as total number of procedures, total number of hours, and average number of minutes in areas such as pre-op, the procedure room, and post-op. Are you staffing based on the actual numbers or based on your gut feel?

In addition, while many people in the surgical department are salaried, some staff are paid per procedure or time spent in the operating room. Therefore, it’s critical to get a handle on start times and end times, so you can properly reimburse them and double-check the services they are billing for.

Surgery analytics provides hospitals with an easy, at-a-glance look at key metrics so you can make more informed decisions about your staffing and reimbursement.

Challenge #3: The move to value-based models

With more and more surgical procedures moving to bundled payments, it’s critical that hospitals understand all the costs involved and work to reduce inefficiencies. This includes throughput and turnaround time.

Surgery analytics can help your organization visualize and more easily understand the financial and operational metrics for your surgery department so you can easily identify areas of inefficiency. This is critical in the new pay-for-value market.

Challenge #4: High turnover among surgical staff

It can be hard for a hospital or health system to retain surgical staff when ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) are opening up that offer attractive salaries and reliable schedules. How can you reduce turnover? How can you ensure that you retain the talented staff that perform revenue-producing procedures? Surgery analytics can help.

With analytics, surgery departments can gain better control over all the factors that disrupt operations by understanding things such as late starts, long room turnover, and so on. Surgery departments can also use predictive analytics to better anticipate add-on surgeries (trauma or other emergent surgeries) before they happen. The result is that surgery departments can be more reliably staffed, and associates will be happier because they are being asked to stay late less frequently.

Learn more about surgery analytics

Learn how you can gain timely access to the operational, financial, and clinical metrics you need to manage your surgery department at peak performance. Our Surgery Advisor application, powered by Diver Platform, empowers you to optimize operating room efficiency. It comes with more than 70 out-of-the-box measures in areas such as volume, utilization, throughput, finances, and procedures.

See Surgery Advisor in action by requesting a demo. Or you can learn how our customer Gwinnett Medical Center is using Surgery Advisor by reading this case study. 

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Kathy Sucich

Kathy is director of healthcare marketing at Dimensional Insight. She graduated from Dartmouth College and is currently pursuing her MBA in health sector management at Boston University. Kathy is also communications chair for the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE).
Kathy Sucich
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