Where does growth in case volume come from?

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.

I’d like to focus on an interesting byproduct of a study he and his colleagues did that looked at previous observational studies’ findings regarding turnover time reduction to promote surgical case growth. They found that while reducing turnover time would help a small number of surgeons, its overall impact on total growth in cases for a hospital would be negligible.

So, where does the bulk of growth come from? Dr. Dexter’s paper points out that most growth comes from surgeons who do two or fewer cases per week at a hospital. They conclude that “the strategic priority should be to assure that the many low-caseload surgeons have access to convenient OR time.”

Where do we find this “convenient OR time”? We harvest it from block time that would otherwise go unused. Sounds simple, right? But there is a myriad of challenges - political, behavioral, access-to-data, math, and communication/coordination challenges – that stand in the way of providing access to convenient OR time for these high-growth providers. For now, know that there are solutions to each of these challenges. We’ll discuss the challenges and their solutions in the next blog post.

Access to convenient OR time comes from predicting time likely to go unused, getting it released, then getting it into the hands of providers who can use it. That’s what we do at Copient Health. After deploying the Copient Health solution at our pilot facility, we were able to demonstrate a 49% increase in case volume among surgeons with no block time.

Interested in boosting your surgical growth? Reach out to us – it’s our favorite subject!

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