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Tuesday February 6, 2024

Best Practices for Reducing Waste in the OR

Managing operating rooms (ORs) is all about maintaining a delicate balance. Even the smallest misstep can have a big impact, not only on patient care but also on the hospital's bottom line.

This article will delve into essential strategies for reducing supply costs and optimizing resource utilization in operating rooms, which are fundamental to enhancing patient care and ensuring profitability.

Operating Rooms as Revenue Drivers

A study published in BMC Health Services Research evaluated management policies for hospital operating rooms. The study highlights that ORs are major bottlenecks and key revenue drivers in hospitals, with a significant portion of hospital admissions due to surgeries.

However, the presence of inefficiencies and waste within ORs can undermine their role as financial catalysts, reducing the funds available for enhancing patient care across other services.

The Financial Impact of Waste in ORs

The American College of Surgeons recently conducted a comprehensive review of 23 studies involving 28 quality improvement initiatives that showed cost savings resulted from various sustainability approaches in the OR, such as reducing medical waste, incorporating energy-saving strategies, and using fewer materials and equipment.

Ineffective OR management can adversely affect the hospital in many ways, including:

  • Patient harm
  • Surgery delays
  • Case cancellation
  • Wasted supplies
  • Physician burnout

Strategies to Improve Efficiencies and Reduce Waste

So, embracing sustainability in our operating rooms can be a major plus for the hospital's finances. But the question is, where do we start? Let's dive into some effective strategies to reduce waste and enhance efficiency:

  • Prioritize preference card management
  • Improve communication
  • Provide accurate reporting
  • Champion standardization
  • Implement a product review committee

MEDHOST Perioperative Experience

MEDHOST Perioperative Experience was conceived and designed with firsthand user experiences and feedback from advisory groups. We can help you focus on creating a seamless integration between materials management and your perioperative department.

To learn more, reach out to us at or call 1.800.383.6278.

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