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Three Benefits of Efficient Block Scheduling

One of the most resource-intensive areas of the hospital, the operating room is arguably the largest revenue contributor to hospital margins at nearly 2/3 of revenue and accounts for almost 1/3 of all hospital supply costs. With this in mind, it is important to make sure that operating rooms are being utilized in the most efficient way possible.

Simply put, idle ORs cost the hospital money whereas active ORs make money—there is a fine balance to manage the planning of these ORs to make sure money is not lost and in turn, make the surgery unit profitable. In an effort to see how these ORs are being used and if they are being used to their full potential is key in supporting overall hospital goals and clinician satisfaction.

Block scheduling is a functionality that helps facilities, and their administrators prepare and plan OR schedules with data-driven insights to help improve surgical department efficiencies. Further, it helps surgeons organize, prioritize and maximize their schedules. For many years, most hospitals have used manual reports to assess OR utilization. The process of maintaining this analysis is time-consuming, taking anywhere from 10 -12 hours per week to compile. With block utilization reports, this information can be generated within minutes. 

A few benefits of software-supported block scheduling include:

  1. Uncover unidentified operating room time: generating these reports will help show where there may be gaps in the OR schedule so that those blocks can be given to available surgeons.
  2. Provide insight into block performance: by pulling the details of utilization, administrators are able to see what block times were used/open to see if they need to make adjustments to their current blocks by shortening or lengthening the time of the block and/or adjusting the day/time of day.  Communicating this information to surgeons can help them plan better and improve their efficiencies.
  3. Maximize revenue by increasing patient throughput without increasing costs: with detailed analytics into how the ORs are being utilized, hospital administrators can gain an understanding of where adjustments need to be made to ensure patients are moved through the OR efficiently without losing money on empty ORs or unused supplies. They in turn can provide this data to surgeons to help improve scheduling requests and prioritization.

One important part of block scheduling with Picis OR Manager includes a block time inquiry which shows future block utilization including who has a block and who is missing a block. The ability to print these inquiries as a report will improve assessments of the best decisions possible for maximizing overall OR utilization.

Finally, the ability to confidently schedule surgery and maximize block utilization to support department and hospital efficiencies can have an immediate financial impact in the areas of savings and increased revenue. If you’re interested in learning more about block scheduling built into Picis OR Manager, contact us to see this solution in action.

About the Author

Chris Lamont, Vice President, Sales & Marketing

Chris has over 20 years of Sales & Marketing experience. Joining the Picis team in 2016, Chris spent a few years building and managing our Customer Success program and the Customer Success team developing the breadth and depth of engagements we have with our customers today. In doing so, Chris helped generate nearly $3M year over year in sales opportunities that allowed our customers to get even more value from their investment in the Picis suite. He then took on leadership of North American Sales, successfully acquiring multiple, large customers and growing Picis even through the midst of a pandemic.

Prior to joining Picis, Chris spent many years in leadership roles at various technology-driven companies including Best Buy for Business, Quest Software (acquired by Dell), ARC Labs, and non-linear creations (now Valtech). His cross-disciplinary approach to customer engagement has afforded him the opportunity to work with multi-functional teams across many industries. His focus on revenue, opportunity and growth has led him to work with some of the largest organizations in the world. His experience spans international partner development to technology development and deployment to planning and creating smart homes for our future.

Chris has a degree in International Business and a diploma in Marketing.