Operating room efficiency and scheduling

Franklin Dexter, Richard H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-198
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent opinion in anaesthesiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Operating room efficiency
  • Operating room information systems
  • Operating room management
  • Turnover time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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