Ethics, economics and outcomeOperating room efficiency and schedulingDexter, Franklina; Epstein, Richard HbAuthor Information aDivision of Management Consulting and Departments of Anesthesia and Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa bDepartment of Anesthesiology, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Correspondence to Franklin Dexter, Anesthesia 6-JCP, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA Tel: +1 319 621 6360; fax: +1 603 947 1304; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: April 2005 - Volume 18 - Issue 2 - p 195-198 doi: 10.1097/01.aco.0000162840.02087.15 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review The review focuses on six papers published in 2004 that pertain to operating room (OR) efficiency. Recent findings When to release OR time was much less important than was having the correct OR allocations in the first place. If OR time must be released, then this decision should be based on the historical scheduled workload. Several interventions combined can reduce average turnover times by 7 min per case, probably reducing labor costs by approximately 1.5%. Use of a block room for patients undergoing brachial plexus anesthesia for upper extremity surgery reduces overall OR time by 4 min per upper extremity case. Improving prediction of case duration can reduce over-utilized OR time by just 5.4 min per OR per workday. Summary Interventions studied included changing when OR time was released, reducing surgical times, reducing turnover times, reducing OR times with block rooms, and improving prediction of case duration. The incremental improvements in OR efficiency and reductions in labor costs were small as compared with allocating OR time and scheduling cases appropriately. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.