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.