Improving OR efficiency through the use of lean six sigma methodologies

teodora nicolescu



This green belt project looks at operating room efficiency metrics from an angle other than measuring improvements in first case starts and turnovers decrease. Following the systematic approach of the Lean Six Sigma training, the DMAIC pathway, the project has focused on improving access to the operating room through recuperating the time unutilized by surgeons whose block cannot start until after 8 am. The project demonstrates that improvement can be achieved through the number of minutes recuperated as well as the total number of cases additionally done over three months. It also showed increased satisfaction of operating room staff and patients.

Ultimately, and more importantly, the project proved so successful that the body governing the operating room approved, as new policy, the automatic use of the unutilized time for the purpose of increasing access to the operating room and decreasing the operating room burden of add-on cases.


Keywords: OR efficiency measures, OR downtime, room utilization, case opportunity, LSS

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