Toward Operating Room Growth
You may have heard of the Prisoner's Dilemma before. In case you haven't, here's a brief summary: It describes a scenario where individual decision-makers have an incentive to make decisions that aren't in the best interest of the group. The typical example involves two criminal partners recently arrested and interrogated separately. The interrogator is trying to get each prisoner to testify against the other, with the prospect of going free for the testimony. If both criminals remain silent, the police have no evidence and can't prosecute them - both go free. If one testifies, they go free while the other goes to jail. If both agree to testify, they both go to jail.
When you're trying to make convenient OR time available to providers who need it, there are a number of problems you'll face, typically in the following categories:
- Political problems
- Behavioral problems
- Access-to-data problems
- Math problems (actually three math problems)
- Communication/coordination problems
Franklin Dexter, MD, Ph.D., is probably the most prolific researcher on the subject of operating room efficiency. His work at the University of Iowa has covered quite a broad spectrum of the clinical and financial issues facing a hospital’s management of its ORs.