Delays are inefficiencies that can have negative impacts on patients, physicians and staff. Frustrations and anxiety associated with delays are unnecessary stressors for those in the peri-operative arena. A first case delay has an exponential trickle-down effect on all cases in a particular OR suite for the day, which also impacts a surgeon’s time and their ability for rounding or seeing patients in the office prior to arriving in the OR.
To help address the delays, actions included observations in pre-op and timing in- to-incision times and analyzing all components within those processes to identify bottlenecks to flow. However, the challenges of communication and lack of transparency that emerged posed particular difficulties. A new, cross-functional approach that integrated technology and process redesign was needed.