Operating theatre benchmarking
Operating theatres are critical in the delivery of acute patient care. However, in a time of shrinking budgets and increasing demands in the health service, acute hospitals face significant operational challenges in maintaining the excellent clinical outcomes and low waiting lists that have been delivered to date.
Our benchmarking project found that their were three key challenges facing providers:
- Effective planning: On average, participants in our study scheduled 35 hours of operating activity per theatre per week, of which 10% were cancelled, though the best performing trust managed to cancel only 3% of scheduled lists.
- Preventing last minute changes: Cancellation of procedures are not always under the control of the department: patient cancellations accounted for 39% of all last minute procedure cancellations, while hospital cancellations due to clinical reasons accounted for 34% and the remainder were due to nonclinical reasons.
- Efficient patient flow in the department: A main focus for trusts is reducing the theatre time wasted due to late starts and early finishes which overall accounts for 18% of theatre hours used.