The Operating Room (OR) is the heart of a hospital. It’s here that patient lives are saved through the hard work and dedication of surgical staff. It is also the backbone of the facility in terms of revenue and expense. And every second counts. Patients must be prepped for surgery, treated, and released in a timely manner to not only serve more patients but to improve outcomes and ensure hospital revenue targets are met. 40-50 million surgeries take place yearly in the US alone. With such an incredibly high volume, one of the leading performance indicators is First Case On-Time Starts (FCOTS) in the OR. As one of the most measured performance indicators of OR efficiency, the benchmark often determines how the flow of patient surgeries will go throughout the day. Delays in the first case often cause delays downstream for the entire roster. This can not only prove extremely costly and wasteful but directly impact the cases for the rest of the day and patient satisfaction.
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As First Case On-Time Starts is such a powerful metric of OR performance, it’s critical to understand what causes delays in the first place. As reports indicate, the OR is a challenging environment, with the average operating room costing $21 – $133 per minute. That’s why improving OR utilization, specifically FCOTS, can increase the value of surgeries performed and significantly streamline costs.
One of the biggest breakdowns causing delays in First Case On-Time Starts is poor communication. Poor overall communication can negatively impact an OR process, impacting both the surgical team and patient safety. One example is the inefficient or ineffective sharing of medical data. Whether it’s patient records or surgical plans, the inefficient sharing of real-time data across key caregivers can significantly impact OR turnover and start times. Another challenge is communication across caregiver teams, OR turnover staff, and surgeons. Far too often, providers rely on outdated or ineffective communication channels – such as pagers and voicemail – to communicate. This means stakeholders get old or incomplete information, and there are significant delays in response and communication. If the treatment team isn’t coordinating with other caregivers or hospital staff in charge of turning over rooms, there is a higher risk for delayed first case on-time starts.
At every stage, efficient and seamless communication is critical, as any mistake can impact patient care and cause costs to skyrocket. But what if it could be made easier?
It’s been estimated that communication breakdowns are one of the leading causes of medical errors. Miscommunication or lack of timely communication is a leading factor of problems in the OR – causing significant delays in scheduling. But optimizing clinical workflows with solutions like the TigerConnect Clinical Collaboration Platform can address these issues head-on – improving coordination between OR teams by allowing healthcare professionals to easily communicate with one another, share critical information, and collaborate on patient care. The TigerConnect OR Transitions workflow can improve First Case On-Time Starts by improving coordination between OR teams by allowing professionals to easily communicate with one another, share critical information, and collaborate on patient care.
The TigerConnect OR Transitions Workflows allows clinicians to send timely OR event updates to the appropriate recipients. For instance, upon patient registration, the pre-op nurse can receive an automatic notification from the EHR to TigerConnect. Similarly, when the patient is placed in Pre-Op and documented in the EHR, the anesthesiologist, surgeon, and circulating RN can be notified. Automated messages triggered by each documented event help ensure that all parties are prepared for case commencement and completion and that the room is ready for turnover.
Intra-op requests are made seamless with automated role-based messaging – allowing clinicians to reduce the time spent trying to reach surgeons in the OR for urgent situations. Automatic response and message forwarding ensure the right people get critical messages in time. Real-time patient data is made possible by context-rich patient alerts and secure transmission of patient data. TigerConnect helps automate clinical workflows to help maximize efficiency and reduce administrative burdens on teams.
The benefits of integrated clinical communication and collaboration in OR workflows are undeniable. Automated OR workflows powered by TigerConnect can reduce delays in FCOTS, directly impacting room turnover time with the power to potentially boost hospital revenue by more than $100,000.
Time and again, streamlined, efficient communication and collaboration in an OR setting has proven its value for both patients and hospitals. Solutions like those from TigerConnect can help hospitals get started on the right path for First Case On-Time Starts and beyond. Request a demo to learn how TigerConnect can improve OR workflows at your organization.
Tags: Patient Workflow, TigerConnect Clinical Communication and Collaboration, OR Efficiency, Operating Room Efficiency, Operating Room Workflow, patient throughput, Clinical Communication and Collaboration
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