Background: The efficient use of operating theatres is important to ensure optimum cost-benefit for the hospital and to clear waiting lists. This audit uses the orthopaedic trauma theatre as a model to assess the theatre efficiency at our institution.
Methods: We performed a retrospective audit using data gathered from the operating theatre database at our institution. We considered each component of the operating theatre process and integrated them to give a combined value for surgical and anaesthetic time (end utilization) and total theatre efficiency (operating theatre utilization).
Results: Results showed that relative to the standards set, changeover time and start times were sub-standard, with consistently prolonged changeovers and late starts. End utilization and operating theatre utilization were 78.8 and 81%, against a standard of 77 and 85-90%, respectively. However, these figures may be misleading due to sub-standard performance in changeover time and other variables.
Conclusions: We have highlighted inefficiency in the orthopaedic trauma theatre at our institution and suggest various strategies to improve this that may be applied universally.