Improving Operating Room Efficiency

Curr Urol Rep. 2019 Apr 15;20(6):28. doi: 10.1007/s11934-019-0895-3.


Purpose of review: Operating rooms are critical financial centers for hospital systems, with surgical care representing about a third of all health care spending. However, not all of the costs are appropriate or necessary, as there are sometimes significant inefficiencies in how operating rooms are utilized.

Recent findings: Recent innovations utilizing patient-centered data, systems principles from manufacturing industries, and enhanced communication processes have made significant improvements in improving operating room efficiency. By focusing on improving communication, standardizing processes, and embracing a learning health system with innovations, significant improvements in operating room efficiency can be seen to improve outcomes and costs for the health system and patient.

Keywords: Cost efficiency; Lean; Operating room costs; Operating room efficiency; Six sigma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Efficiency, Organizational / economics
  • Efficiency, Organizational / standards*
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms / economics
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Operating Rooms / standards*
  • Quality Improvement / economics
  • Quality Improvement / standards*