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Overview

Portland-based Oregon Health & Science University – the only academic health center in Oregon – focuses on improving the health of all Oregonians and is dedicated to advancing the health sciences. OHSU’s 16,000 employees concentrate on research to prevent and cure disease, on education that prepares physicians, dentists, nurses and other health professionals to succeed in an evolving health care environment, and on patient care that incorporates the latest knowledge and discoveries.

Problem

OHSU faced a shortage of available block time to allocate to new surgeons coming on-board at its South Operating Rooms (SOR) and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital (DCH). Surgical services lacked visibility of available blocks; all block owners operated independently and there was no accountability for inefficient block owners. To compound matters, there was no “single source of truth”; unclear metrics and the lack of standardized release times for blocks fomented a lack of trust in the performance metrics by which surgeons were being evaluated. Before deploying iQueue for Operating Rooms, OHSU assumed – as many hospitals do – that the key to solving poor prime-time utilization patterns meant improving on their first-case on-time start delays and turnover times.

Solution

By deploying iQueue for Operating Rooms at SOR and DCH, OHSU hoped to improve access to the OR, increase the accountability of its surgeons for their use of their allocated time, and add transparency through a set of objective, data-driven performance metrics that eliminated ambiguity and helped surgeons develop trust in their key performance indicators. A major thrust of the effort was also to adopt a new framework for measuring OR utilization that focuses on Collectable Time – segments of time in which a case could have been scheduled but wasn’t – and on scheduled downtime to drive OR utilization upwards.

25
additional cases per month in prime time (Main Operating Rooms)
1%
increase in prime time utilization
5%
increase in staffed room utilization
5%
increase in block utilization
51%
reduction in abandoned blocks

Results

OHSU has experienced a 1% year-over-year increase in prime time utilization, a 5% increase in staffed room utilization, a 5% year-over-year increase in block utilization, and a corresponding 51% drop in completely abandoned blocks. Collectable Time has steadily decreased, as more surgeons now release time they know they can’t use and other surgeons claim that open time for their cases. Now, for example, OHSU’s Block Review Committees can put a block owner on notice and see dramatic improvement much faster than ever before. For example, a urology block owner was able to drop their collectable blocks from 6 to 3 in a matter of two months, using the data from iQueue to drive change in their scheduling practice. iQueue for Operating Rooms data now supplements existing infrastructure, helping perioperative leaders determine when to proactively close ORs when hospital is at high census. As a collaborative partner with LeanTaaS, OHSU has taken an active role in working with the LeanTaaS team to brainstorm and develop new features, including an Availability Alerts management portal feature that automatically notifies surgeons when OR time matching their needs becomes available.

What Your Colleagues Are Saying

“iQueue is a far more scientific way of managing OR capacity and creating access to OR time, accountability for block time, and transparency into operating metrics. The changes to our core processes for release and request, block rightsizing, and transparency into the metrics is exactly what we needed. This is the future of OR capacity management.””

Dio Sumagaysay Associate Chief Nursing Officer
Perioperative Services & Multispecialty Procedure Units
Oregon Health & Science University
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