The Pulse: Operating to Improve the OR Experience

The Pulse: Operating to Improve the OR Experience

December 01, 2014 at 02:12pm

If you’ve ever been told that you or a loved one will have to undergo surgery, you know how comforting it is to schedule your surgery when the doctor thinks it’s best, not when you get to the top of a surgical wait-list. It’s similarly welcome when your surgery happens right on time, with no delays or unexpected waiting.

Providing such a professional, efficient and reliable operating room experience to patients was one of the most obvious outcomes of a Saudi Ministry of Health operating room optimization program. The project, implemented with GE Healthcare, was initiated in light of the current health-care environment in Saudi Arabia that means cost controls and improved quality of health care are top priorities.

The ministry, in partnership with GE Healthcare, achieved these and many more positive results at 16 participating hospitals, where more than 400 hospital staff were trained. Other outcomes included:

  • The hospitals’ overall operating room patient satisfaction rating rose to 9/10
  • 15%-47% improvement in operating room utilization
  • Up to 29% reduction in pre- and post-operative process time
  • Up to 58% reduction in surgical waiting lists
  • Up to 65% improvement in first-case starting on time
  • Establishment of pre-anesthesia clinics to reduce surgical cancellations and delays
  • Development of same-day surgery programs to increasing OR use and inpatient bed capacity.

Some of the key management strategies that GE Healthcare helped implement to achieve these results included new operating room schedules, end-to-end admission processes – from outpatient clinics to operating room admission set up; and revised OR pathways to reduce delays by looking at on-time starts, patient transfers and patient movements. Other steps included improving operating room changeover; use of operating room dashboards, and training sessions for leaders and front-line staff in areas such as leadership management, Change Acceleration Process (CAP), and lean-operations methodologies.

Critically, the initiative resulted in a cost effective, scalable and repeatable improvement methodology that the Ministry can take to other hospitals across the Kingdom.

Health care is evolving in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) as the medical needs change, requiring the latest technologies, management practices and quality of care. GE is helping realize this evolution, examples of which are profiled in “The Pulse” posts on Hewar. Explore how GE works as an active partner supporting a healthy and productive citizenry in Saudi Arabia.

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