BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: In multicase pediatric ear, nose, and throat operating rooms (ORs), brief delays in early case start times often produce a cascading effect of lengthy delays by the end of the day and can often lead to patient, family, and staff dissatisfaction and increased labor costs due to unplanned overtime. We sought to improve actual end of day relative to scheduled end of day from 40% to 60%. METHODS: Key drivers of the process included case scheduling, ordering of sedative medications, and nurse availability in the postanesthesia care unit to receive the patient from the anesthesia provider. A multidisciplinary team conducted a series of tests of change addressing the various key drivers. Data were collected by using an independent, impartial data collector as well as being extracted from the hospital information technology system. Data were analyzed by using control charts and statistical process control methods. RESULTS: The percentage of ORs ending on time increased from 40% to 60%. Appropriate scheduling of complex cases increased from 10% to 87%, and accurate scheduling of case duration improved from 21% to 48%. Timely premedication increased from 55% to 90% and immediate availability of a nurse in the postanesthesia care unit from68% to.90%. CONCLUSIONS: By applying quality-improvement methods, significant improvements were made in a multicase pediatric ear, nose, and throat OR. The impact can be significant by reducing wait times for patients, as well as staff overtime for the institution. Pediatrics 2013;132:e219-e228.
- Operating rooms
- Quality improvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health