The operating theatre is generally the most expensive facility in a hospital but also a significant revenue driver. In the United States, theatres generate, on average, 42% of a hospital’s revenue.
With the constant pressure to manage dwindling resources and rising costs, theatre managers have had to find creative solutions to improve theatre utilisation and efficiency without reducing patient safety and care. Much focus around efficiency has been on scheduling improvements, drawing inspiration from the automated production line approach used in factories.
However, to truly develop an efficient theatre, hospital leaders should consider other potential root causes of inefficiency including management, communication, staff involvement and culture, as well as facility design. Within these factors, standardised processes and protocols can improve productivity by identifying and correcting issues.