Statistical power analysis to estimate how many months of data are required to identify operating room staffing solutions to reduce labor costs and increase productivity

Richard H. Epstein, Franklin Dexter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

We performed a statistical power analysis to determine how many historical data are needed for optimal operating room (OR) management decision making. The work applies to hospitals that provide service for all of its surgeons' elective cases on whatever workday the surgeons and patients choose. The hospital and anesthesia group adjust OR staffing and patient scheduling to care for the patients while minimizing OR staffing costs and maximizing labor productivity. Two years of data were obtained from a seven-OR surgical suite. The data were repeatedly split into training and testing datasets. The optimal staffing solution was calculated for each training dataset to maximize the efficiency of OR time usage and was then applied to the corresponding testing dataset. Training datasets ranged in size from 30 to 270 consecutive workdays. With 30 workdays of data, the statistical method identified staffing solutions that had an average of 35% decreased costs and 27% increased productivity as compared to the existing staffing plan. There was no significant improvement in performance with more than 210 workdays (10 mo) of data. With 30 workdays of OR or anesthesia group data, the optimization method can significantly reduce staffing costs and increase productivity compared with existing staffing. When applied routinely for adjusting staffing (e.g., on a quarterly basis), 9 to 12 mo of data should be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-643
Number of pages4
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Volume94
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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