Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Vasc Surg. 2013 Nov;58(5):1417-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2013.05.007. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Lean principles optimize on-time vascular surgery operating room starts and decrease resident work hours.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Section of Vascular Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH. Electronic address: Courtney.J.Warner@hitchcock.org.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Lean process improvement techniques are used in industry to improve efficiency and quality while controlling costs. These techniques are less commonly applied in health care. This study assessed the effectiveness of Lean principles on first case on-time operating room starts and quantified effects on resident work hours.

METHODS:

Standard process improvement techniques (DMAIC methodology: define, measure, analyze, improve, control) were used to identify causes of delayed vascular surgery first case starts. Value stream maps and process flow diagrams were created. Process data were analyzed with Pareto and control charts. High-yield changes were identified and simulated in computer and live settings prior to implementation. The primary outcome measure was the proportion of on-time first case starts; secondary outcomes included hospital costs, resident rounding time, and work hours. Data were compared with existing benchmarks.

RESULTS:

Prior to implementation, 39% of first cases started on time. Process mapping identified late resident arrival in preoperative holding as a cause of delayed first case starts. Resident rounding process inefficiencies were identified and changed through the use of checklists, standardization, and elimination of nonvalue-added activity. Following implementation of process improvements, first case on-time starts improved to 71% at 6 weeks (P = .002). Improvement was sustained with an 86% on-time rate at 1 year (P < .001). Resident rounding time was reduced by 33% (from 70 to 47 minutes). At 9 weeks following implementation, these changes generated an opportunity cost potential of $12,582.

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of Lean principles allowed rapid identification and implementation of perioperative process changes that improved efficiency and resulted in significant cost savings. This improvement was sustained at 1 year. Downstream effects included improved resident efficiency with decreased work hours.

Copyright © 2013 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk