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Invited Commentary
March 2017

Use of an Operating Room Scorecard—Keeping Score and Cutting Costs

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Surgical Innovation Editor, JAMA Surgery
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(3):291. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.4693

There are a lot of uncertainties with how shifts to alternative payment models (eg, value-based purchasing and bundle payments) will affect the delivery and cost of care. One certainty, however, is that hospital margins will get tighter. In a cost-conscious environment, surgeons will need to come to the table to help tackle costs at their hospital. While we are key players of the hospitals’ most expensive resources (ie, the operating room), we are rarely informed how our decisions change the financial bottom line. Only 21% of surgeons accurately estimate the cost of the supplies they use,1 and even know less about the costs of clinically appropriate alternatives. In the goal of trying to reduce health care costs, surgeons have been put on the field without knowing the score—until now.

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