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J Pediatr Surg. 2013 Jan;48(1):95-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2012.10.022.

Improving perioperative performance: the use of operations management and the electronic health record.

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Children's Medical Center Dallas, Department of Pediatric Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX 75235, USA.



Perioperative services require the orchestration of multiple staff, space and equipment. Our aim was to identify whether the implementation of operations management and an electronic health record (EHR) improved perioperative performance.


We compared 2006, pre operations management and EHR implementation, to 2010, post implementation. Operations management consisted of: communication to staff of perioperative vision and metrics, obtaining credible data and analysis, and the implementation of performance improvement processes. The EHR allows: identification of delays and the accountable service or person, collection and collation of data for analysis in multiple venues, including operational, financial, and quality. Metrics assessed included: operative cases, first case on time starts; reason for delay, and operating revenue.


In 2006, 19,148 operations were performed (13,545 in the Main Operating Room (OR) area, and 5603, at satellite locations); first case on time starts were 12%; reasons for first case delay were not identifiable; and operating revenue was $115.8M overall, with $78.1M in the Main OR area. In 2010, cases increased to 25,856 (+35%); Main OR area increased to 13,986 (+3%); first case on time starts improved to 46%; operations outside the Main OR area increased to 11,870 (112%); case delays were ascribed to nurses 7%, anesthesiologists 22%, surgeons 33%, and other (patient, hospital) 38%. Five surgeons (7%) accounted for 29% of surgical delays and 4 anesthesiologists (8%) for 45% of anesthesiology delays; operating revenue increased to $177.3M (+53%) overall, and in the Main OR area rose to $101.5M (+30%).


The use of operations management and EHR resulted in improved processes, credible data, promptly sharing the metrics, and pinpointing individual provider performance. Implementation of these strategies allowed us to shift cases between facilities, reallocate OR blocks, increase first case on time starts four fold and operative cases by 35%, and these changes were associated with a 53% increase in operating revenue. The fact that revenue increase was greater than case volume (53% vs. 35%) speaks for improved performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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