Table of Contents
ISRN Surgery
Volume 2014, Article ID 431740, 6 pages
Research Article

An Audit of Operating Room Time Utilization in a Teaching Hospital: Is There a Place for Improvement?

1Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece
2Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54636 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 16 February 2014; Accepted 6 March 2014; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editors: J. C. Cendan, J. D. Richardson, and S. Schulze

Copyright © 2014 George Stavrou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. To perform a thorough and step-by-step assessment of operating room (OR) time utilization, with a view to assess the efficacy of our practice and to identify areas of further improvement. Materials and Methods. We retrospectively analyzed the most ordinary general surgery procedures, in terms of five intervals of OR time utilization: anaesthesia induction, surgery preparation, duration of operation, recovery from anaesthesia, and transfer to postanaesthesia care unit (PACU) or intensive care unit (ICU). According to their surgical impact, the procedures were defined as minor, moderate, and major. Results. A total of 548 operations were analyzed. The mean (SD) time in minutes for anaesthesia induction was 19 (9), for surgery preparation 13 (8), for surgery 115 (64), for recovery from anaesthesia 12 (8), and for transfer to PACU/ICU 12 (9). The time spent in each step presented an ascending escalation pattern proportional to the surgical impact , which was less pronounced in the transfer to PACU/ICU . Conclusions. Albeit, our study was conducted in a teaching hospital, the recorded time estimates ranged within acceptable limits. Efficient OR time usage and outliers elimination could be accomplished by a better organized transfer personnel service, greater availability of anaesthesia providers, and interdisciplinary collaboration.