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Accurate case scheduling

04 Jul 2021

Surgeon help needed!

In an effort to increase case scheduling accuracy, we are turning to our surgeon colleagues for help.  Historically, when a case is booked onto the operating room schedule, the surgery schedulers will use the surgeon’s average time as determined by Epic (based on the last ten similar cases). This time is usually very reliable, but when patient factors cause the average time to be inaccurate for that specific case, the flow of the process suffers.   

To improve flow and accurate scheduling for our patients and physicians, we are asking for increased guidance from the expert — the surgeon doing the case.  When you have a case that you know will be tough because of the past surgical history, the approach, the complexity of the procedure, or other reason, please help us ensure the right resources will be available and minimize impact on other patients by noting the increased time need as accurately as possible.

When filling out the surgery scheduling sheet to add the case to your block time, there is a question on that sheet that asks: “Use Surgeon’s average time?  Yes/No   If no, length requested?” For those using Case Request in EPIC to schedule their cases, there is a field that asks the same question. Please complete this field to let us know how much additional time you will need for your complex cases.

Your help with this will prevent unforeseen delays in scheduled cases, reducing anxiety in patients and family members who are waiting, and enabling more efficient flow for the overall OR and supporting accurate scheduling of the many resources needed to deliver surgical care.

We are also working on improving other areas of efficiency, including turnovers and on-time starts, to reduce schedule delays, and appreciate your support on tackling this opportunity for improvement as well.