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ANZ J Surg. 2010 Apr;80(4):217-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2009.05043.x.

Audit of the utilization of time in an orthopaedic trauma theatre.

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Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia.



The efficient use of operating theatres is important to ensure optimum cost-benefit for the hospital and to clear waiting lists. This audit uses the orthopaedic trauma theatre as a model to assess the theatre efficiency at our institution.


We performed a retrospective audit using data gathered from the operating theatre database at our institution. We considered each component of the operating theatre process and integrated them to give a combined value for surgical and anaesthetic time (end utilization) and total theatre efficiency (operating theatre utilization).


Results showed that relative to the standards set, changeover time and start times were sub-standard, with consistently prolonged changeovers and late starts. End utilization and operating theatre utilization were 78.8 and 81%, against a standard of 77 and 85-90%, respectively. However, these figures may be misleading due to sub-standard performance in changeover time and other variables.


We have highlighted inefficiency in the orthopaedic trauma theatre at our institution and suggest various strategies to improve this that may be applied universally.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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