Actionable Tips for Increasing the Efficiency of Perioperative Processes

The perioperative department can be the highest cost center in the hospital, but it is also the department with the most opportunity for sustainable long-term growth—accounting for upwards of 80% of hospital revenue. With the increased pressure on perioperative leadership to improve financial performance and quality scores—leaders look to identify gaps in performance and opportunities to improve efficiency. Often, hospitals are held back from achieving success because they don't understand the root cause of their perioperative problems.

For a perioperative department to be successful, it must be:

  • Patient Friendly

  • Surgeon Friendly

  • Efficient

  • High-Quality

  • Well Planned

6 Tips for Increasing the Efficiency of Perioperative Processes

  1. Audit current policies and practices

  2. Implement a block scheduling program

  3. Establish a perioperative governance team

  4. Develop system-wide metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs)

  5. Grow perioperative education opportunities

  6. Maintain a one, three, and five-year capital equipment plan

Read, ‘Optimizing Surgical Resources for Increased Operating Room Performance.

Is Your New OR Director Faced with Multiple or Conflicting Capital Requests?

Nursing Leadership in the OR continues to evolve over the past decade and just being able to cover the schedule and ensure adequate orientation for new employees is not enough in today’s healthcare environment. The OR is important to the hospital, and although it may be a nursing department, clearly Perioperative Services is a business. When planning for capital equipment acquisition, the OR director must evaluate many factors: the age of the current equipment, types of equipment needed, cost effectiveness of equipment, best practices, surgeon preferences and ROI to name a few.

Developing and communicating a one, three, and five-year capital equipment plan will help decrease the unexpected requests for new equipment from a surgeon. Every equipment purchase request should include a thorough justification or business plan. This is where many new OR directors fumble and may not accurately convey what is needed to the C-suite to make an informed decision.

Embrace Process Improvements

The old standards and principles for operating rooms do not provide the balance of efficiency (resource stewardship) and marketability (access for growth) required to attract and retain OR surgeons and staff. It is critical that perioperative leadership embraces new technology and recognizes the need for creative process improvements in order to grow the perioperative department.

Implementation Support for Quality Perioperative Care

Sullivan perioperative consulting experts provide hospitals and health systems with comprehensive perioperative program assessments, recommendations, and implementation support that result in improved operational efficiency and increased income. Our team can assist with mentoring and one-on-one support of the OR director to facilitate successful business operations.

Does your perioperative program need a data-driven overhaul? Learn more about our perioperative services and how Sullivan can help improve your organization’s performance, contact us today.

Randy Heiser is the President of Sullivan Healthcare Consulting. Randy has been a hospital consultant since 1983 and has specialized in perioperative consulting since 1992. He has directed more than 500 surgery department operational improvement studies (and participated in an additional 350) in programs ranging from small community hospitals and freestanding surgery centers to some of the largest university hospitals in the U.S. He was instrumental in the design, development and implementation of the Surgery Benchmark Program that has been used by more than 280 hospitals. He has also participated in the design of several proprietary surgery scheduling information systems currently available in North America.

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