Sarasota Memorial in the News

New technology and workflow lead to surgical volume growth

OR utilization and other efficiency metrics are things that many healthcare facilities are constantly striving to improve. At Sarasota Memorial Health Care System in Sarasota, Florida, concern about utilization and turnover scores prompted a team to look into the causes and possible solutions. Adopting new technology and changing workflow not only improved efficiencies but also communication and education.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMH) in Sarasota, Florida, is a Level 2 trauma center with 839 beds and more than 900 physicians. The 430 members of the surgical staff perform more than 24,300 inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures in the 34 operating suites each year. With this level of volume, improving efficiency and maximizing capacity is essential to its success. A few years ago, as SMH’s patient volume continued to increase, staff started looking more closely at operating room utilization. With utilization at 48% and an average turnover time of 33 minutes (both below national benchmarks), a team was established to consider questions such as:

  • Was utilization low because of delays in surgical processes? 
  • Were more OR suites needed? 
  • Was there a way to increase the efficiency of the existing suites?

A technology solution.

The team sought a technology solution to help streamline these processes, and while touring another hospital, they discovered the technology that appeared capable of improving efficiency and communication: the Clinical Workflow™ Suite (TeleTracking, Pittsburgh). 

“I was on the visit and immediately said, ‘We have to have this,’” says Damato. “So we added the solution to our systemwide capacity improvement project and provided the ROI [return on investment] analysis and efficiency gains to our C-suite. They agreed that this technology would be beneficial.”

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