OR Management Basics - How Do You Organize an Operating Room?

/ By DSI Marketing TeamNovember 4, 2022

Operating room management is a complex discipline that includes medical supply storage and proper sterilization for a facility.

In this article, we will be discussing the basics of operating room (OR) management and what it takes to do it properly. 

What is Operating Room Management?

Operating room management is the discipline and process of running an OR suite. It aims to maximize the efficiency of the facility and to make sure that the number of procedures can be performed there in the shortest time possible. 

Operating room management also aims to minimize the number of resources that must be used. Strategic OR management, on the other hand, deals with long-term decisions. An example is deciding whether to add more operating rooms to an existing facility.

Aims of Operating Room Management

Operating room management is being studied at an increasing rate today. Aside from improving the efficiency of the operating room, it also aims to achieve the following:

  1. Ensure the optimum outcome for the treatment.
  2. Provide easy access to surgeons so they can deliver services in a timely manner.
  3. Decrease the delays in surgery and treatment.
  4. Improve satisfaction among doctors, patients, and staff members.

Hospitals are faced with increased competition and OR management is supposed to help make them more competitive.

The operating room or the surgical unit is considered to be a very important part of the hospital. This is why administrators are seeking ways to make them more efficient and effective.

How to Organize an Operating Room 

There are different aspects of operating room management. As someone who is seeking to improve the efficiency of an OR, you need to be aware of those.

Also, here are some ideas that you can use to manage your operating room. 

Building an OR Management Team

Managing an operating room is not an easy job and to ensure success, it should be run by a whole team made up of diverse specialists. So, that should be the first thing for you to manage your OR in the right way is to build your management team.

Before you try to aim for any metric, your support team must be able to handle the OR. The best way to do this is to have a representative from all the departments of your institution. That way, all stakeholders are going to be involved, from anesthesiologists to nurses and even tech professionals.

By having all departments involved, you can avoid issues that would stem from mismanagement.

Check the Cost of Supplies

Cost is always a paramount factor to consider when you are managing a facility like an operating room. Even if you do manage to increase the number of procedures performed, but the cost per procedure is beyond the budget you have set—then you have a problem.

Analyze how the supply is used up and get insights from the teams that use it. Do you really need to use up as much supply? If they tell you the supply consumption is too much, then you can improve the process.

How can you know that you are spending too much on medical supplies? The easiest way is to compare what you are spending with the national average. If you are spending way too much than the national average, like more than 10%, then you need to find other sources. You can always search for better suppliers.

Optimize Time Management

Time is one of the most valuable resources, not just in the operating room but for everyone. If you want to make the most out of your OR, you must manage the time allocated for it very carefully. 

If there are long periods when no one is using it and then there are multiple procedures vying for the same time slot, it means your time management needs improvement. You need to work it out so that the schedules will not come into conflict and there will still be the proper time to clean up between each procedure.

Address Tool and Equipment Loss

Another aspect that can be holding back the efficiency of your OR is tool and equipment loss. 

Equipment loss can mean that tools are actually missing and the staff cannot find them or it can be that a piece of equipment has broken down and must be replaced.  Equipment loss can hinder an operating room because replacing that equipment can be costly.

Improve the Organization

This is easier said than done, but you definitely need to improve your organization. 

Before you can do this, you need to assess what your situation is. How is your organization functioning? Is it doing its job properly? If the management is not handling the operating room properly, then what is the problem? You need to sit down and assess what the situation is.

Sometimes, the management organization has a problem and that's the reason why the operating room is not being handled properly. 

How do you go about improving the organization? First, identify the weak points and what you are doing wrong. Then decide what you need to correct things. Do you need new members in your organization to fix things?  Do you need to replace some members of the organization?

These are hard decisions but your goal is to make your OR as efficient as possible. You will have to make those hard choices to achieve your goal of having an efficient OR.

Organize Your OR with Distribution Systems International 

The pandemic has shown the need for hospitals to become as efficient as possible. The operating room, as one of the most crucial components of the hospital, should be run as efficiently as you can.

You should realize that proper medical supply storage is one of the things you have to do to organize your OR.  Our team can help you determine which are the right medical storage supplies you need to make your operating room as efficient as possible. To get help with that, you may fill out our online form or contact us at 800-393-6090 at Distribution Systems International today!

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