Variability of subspecialty-specific anesthesia-controlled times at two academic institutions

J Med Syst. 2014 Feb;38(2):11. doi: 10.1007/s10916-014-0011-7. Epub 2014 Jan 28.


Realistic scheduling of operating room cases decreases costs, optimizes utilization and improves staff and patient satisfaction. Currently limited data exists to establish anesthesia-controlled time benchmarks based on specific subspecialty service. In this multicenter retrospective analysis of cases performed during a 53 month period at two large multispecialty academic institutions, data were retrieved from the perioperative information systems at each center. Both induction and emergence times were calculated. We then determined mean and median anesthesia controlled times based on each subspecialty service and compared them to previously published anesthesia-controlled time data. We obtained data on 104,184 cases at hospital A, and 122,560 cases at Hospital B. For all specialties at hospital A and hospital B, median induction time was 16.0 min and 17.0 min, emergence time was 14.0 and 8.0 min, and total anesthesia controlled time was 31.0 min and 27.0 min respectively. There was considerable variability among different surgical specialties deviating from the previously established 30 min benchmark. Subspecialties with lower total anesthesia controlled times in both centers were pain, general surgery, gynecology, plastic surgery and urology. Subspecialties with higher total anesthesia controlled times in both centers included cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, transplant and vascular. Cardiac surgery had the highest total time of 60 min and 50 min at Hospital A and B respectively. Individual specialty-specific anesthesia controlled times should be used for case scheduling and to benchmark anesthesia performance.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration
  • Academic Medical Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Anesthesia / statistics & numerical data*
  • Appointments and Schedules*
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Humans
  • Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Operating Rooms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors