Operating Room Scheduling and Capacity Planning

  • Luis G. Vargas
  • Jerrold H. May
  • William Spangler
  • Alia Stanciu
  • David P. Strum
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)

Managed care is placing severe financial and organizational pressures on healthcare institutions, while at the same time capitation and competition are limiting resources. In response, institutions are beginning to re-engineer themselves from revenue to cost centers. Research indicates that of the three major clinical service components that comprise the healthcare system (surgical, medical, and mental health), surgical services are among the most amenable to cost control by a systematic process of utilization review. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, more than 33 million US residents undergo surgery annually, incurring charges of more than $450 billion, or nearly 10% of the entire healthcare budget.

As cost centers, ORs must be scheduled and run efficiently because they reflect on the financial health of the institution as a whole. Admission rates, OR utilization, and hospital census depend on a mix of surgical specialties and unimpeded access to surgical facilities. 6 Utilization problems occur when a hospital begins to run at or near capacity. If scheduling is inefficient, highly elective surgeries may occupy available beds to the detriment of less-elective surgeries, resulting in a decrease in the hospital’s emergency capabilities. Conversely, if the institution preferentially allocates OR time for emergency services, elective surgeries, patient satisfaction, and access to surgical facilities may decrease.


Protection Level Surgical Service Capacity Planning Operating Suite Revenue Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis G. Vargas
    • 1
  • Jerrold H. May
    • 1
  • William Spangler
    • 2
  • Alia Stanciu
    • 1
  • David P. Strum
    • 3
  1. 1.University of PittsburghThe Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of BusinessPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Duquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA
  3. 3.Canada Laurence TorsherQueens University, Kingston General HospitalOntarioUSA

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