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Blocking & Tackling – Improving OR Block Performance

blockor-iconby Ralph F. Smith

In 2012, the Operating Room Executive Committee (OREC) at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas made the decision to embark a long but productive journey to increase our block utilization, and by extension our operating room performance. The situation at the time was rife with opportunity. Block utilization was in the low 50’s, there was rampant confusion between the hospital and physicians over block allocation, and our ability to track performance was heavily manual and inadequate to facilitate good management decision-making.

CMC invested in new information technology that eliminated manual analysis and provided a plethora of new statistics. However, data by itself did not reveal solutions. Leveraging a collaborative hospital-physician partnership, CMC was able to capitalize on the new analytics tool to:

The moral of the story is that we have followed a three-step process: get good data, display it in a way that is user-friendly and easy to interpret, and then rely on a combination of data and experience to enable sound management decisions… and to avoid jumping to conclusions.

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