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August 1981

Limits to Efficient Operating Room Scheduling: Lessons From Computer-Use Models

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery and Health Computer Sciences, University of Minnesota, and the Department of Surgery, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis.

Arch Surg. 1981;116(8):1065-1071. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380200061013

• It is not a trivial matter to achieve a high level of utilization in the operating room (OR). The surgeon must give attention to schedule efficiency to contain medical costs. Surgeons should also be aware that 100% utilization of OR time is unrealistic except when there are repetitive, uniform-length procedures. A regular utilization rate below 50% should suggest overstaffing, overbuilding, or poor schedule management. Lessons from scheduling computer use can help make OR utilization more efficient. If a selective, effective algorithm is used in scheduling, norms of utilization should be above 60% and peaks should exceed 75%. For efficiency of scheduling, all ORs should be completely modular and should be large enough to accomodate any type of surgery.

(Arch Surg 1981;116:1065-1071)

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