At many surgical suites, surgeons and patients schedule elective cases on whatever future workday they choose, resulting in there being no limit on the number of cases performed each day. Staff are then scheduled in the manner that satisfies the marketing guarantee to the surgeons, satisfies labor contracts, and minimizes staffing costs. We assessed weekday nurse anesthesia group staffing at nine such suites to determine whether statistical methods can identify staffing solutions whereby all the cases are covered but for which staffing costs are less than those obtained using the staffing plans implemented by anesthesia groups' managers. Two years of operating room information system case duration and staffing data were analyzed. First- and second-shift staffing was assessed using previously published algorithms. The statistical methods identified staffing solutions with significantly decreased labor costs than those currently being used at eight of the nine surgical suites. The statistical methods relied more on overtime than second-shift staffing. The incremental decrease in staffing costs achievable by using overlapping 8-, 10-, and 13-h shifts was negligible. Overall, we found that statistical methods can identify, for some surgical suites, staffing solutions whereby all the cases are covered but for which costs are significantly less and productivity significantly more than those obtained using the plans developed by the managers based on their experience and the data.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine