91% of hospitals predict growth in outpatient ORs

Results of a nationwide survey of hospital executives who make decisions regarding capital equipment in hospitals indicated that operating room (OR) caseloads and costs will continue to rise over the next three years, driven by growth in both outpatient and inpatient procedures.

The survey found the following:

  • Half (49%) report that their OR case volume has increased in the past 12 months, while nearly three-quarters (73%) predict their OR case volume will increase over the next three years.
  • While 39% see their inpatient OR case volume growing in the next three years, 91% see their outpatient OR case volume growing during that same period.
  • These hospital decision-makers believe that increasing OR efficiency and throughput (73%), more closely managing overall workflow (57%), cutting spending on supplies (52%), and reducing overtime (35%) are strategies that can reduce hospital costs.

Hospital decision-makers agree by a significant majority (79%) that "Information technology solutions are a strategic driver of success in the operating room." An overwhelming 96% agree that information technology helps recruit outstanding physicians and nursing staff. Fifty-seven percent say that it is very important, while 39% say that it is somewhat important.

What capabilities are hospital senior executives looking for in perioperative IT solutions? The top choices were "scheduling: better/accurate scheduling" (20%), "integration: better integration between systems/departments/integrating the anesthesia module/seamless workflow" (16%), and "information: storage: access/real-time/electronic records" (12%).

OR benefits from departmental solutions

One of the more interesting findings addressed the question of using enterprise-wide solutions versus implementing departmental systems for scheduling in the OR.

Seventy-six percent agreed with the statement that "Scheduling the OR is inherently different from scheduling other services in the hospital and therefore requires a uniquely tailored process and information technology solution."

How do hospital executives judge a vendor's ability to fit into their organization's IT landscape? The most important elements, survey respondents said, were the ability to integrate or interface with existing information systems; the quality and functionality of the product itself; and word-of-mouth, referrals, recommendations, or the reputation of a particular vendor.

Surgical Information Systems (SIS), a provider of perioperative information systems, released results of the survey. It was conducted by an independent national polling organization. The survey included 142 hospital decision-makers.