How activity based data amps up theatre optimisation rates

[fa icon="calendar"] 18-Aug-2015 18:03:00 / by Michael Stanton

theatre_optimisation_rateTheatre optimisation rates are important for both Private and Public health care facilities. It’s about better patient outcomes and quality of care. Moreover, an optimised theatre asset will allow more patients to be treated in a shorter amount of time. In the instance of private healthcare facilities operating theatres are also a main income producing asset.

An optimised theatre asset offers important benefits to operators of healthcare facilities and their patients including:-

  • enhanced productivity
  • fewer bottlenecks
  • reduced patient waiting times
  • improved staff roster management.

In a majority of cases hospital decision making is based on small samples of aggregated data from the previous reporting period. The problem with this approach is that, by the time the data is assembled and presented, it’s most likely outdated and no longer accurately represents the actual situation at hand.

This is a daily challenge that both public and private healthcare facilities face.

How useful is your data really?

activity_based_dataYou need data to assess whether your theatre asset is being optimally utilised. Unfortunately, small data samples often cause the aggregates to become less accurate and not representative of the actual situation.

Activity based data solves this issue and is set to transform the theatre asset optimisation.

The main characteristic of activity based data, as the term implies, is that it is collected at the point of care, by the carer at the exact time at which the care is being provided. This gives you 100% sample data to inform your decision making in real time. You will have on the spot reliable insights as to how your theatres are being utilised and where bottlenecks exist.

Say for example that you see that there are patients are waiting in pre-op but the theatre is idle. Without real time data you won’t be able to identify where the bottleneck is. It could be in pre-op or in admin. Likewise delays in recovery may be the result of a bottleneck elsewhere.

Your theatre asset does not stand in isolation. The patient pathway incorporates every area that represents a patient touch point -  from the moment they walk up your front desk right until the patient leaves the surgery.

Data which is harvested at point of activity will give you an up to the minute insight into every step of the patient pathway.

This revolutionary access to data allows you to make informed, accurate and timely decisions improving efficiency of the theatre asset.

The impact of rostering on theatre utilisation rates 

Your theatre asset requires administrative support and activity based data can achieve significant efficiencies. With insights into where hold ups occur you can manage your roster better so that your overheads vary so they correspond with the actual theatre utilisation.

Increased waiting times are detrimental to patient satisfaction

Ninety-seven percent of patients are frustrated by wait times according to research by software advice. Hardly suprising. Nothing annoys patients more than when they have an appointment for a specific time, they stress and rush to get there on time, but then find themselves sitting in your waiting room for what seems forever.

But Why? It seems such a simple question, and the obvious answer is that it’s taking longer than expected to treat on one or more of the patients before you. But Why? (Ok I’m sounding like 2 year old now).

The obvious answer is because of an unexpected complication. And that may very well be the case, but how do you know for sure? Data that is based on activity as it occurs will give you the real time answer allowing you to make informed and considered adjustments to process.

Your patients will appreciate the reduced waiting times and have an overall more positive experience of your facility.


Activity based data revolutionises optimisation of theatre assets. Having access to data that is 100% sample and accurately represents the current state of play, gives you the capacity to make informed, considered decisions about change.

The benefits of activity based data collection are: -

  • improved roster management and theatre utility
  • accurate insight into the economics of efficiency
  • improved patient satisfaction
  • freed up space and time for additional procedures and surgeons to access the facility
  • efficiencies around accreditation process management (ACHS, DoHA and Queensland Health)
  • instant access to unimpeachable data for healthcare funds.

Learn about ScanCARE's   AS4187 compliant surgical tracking solution

Topics: Medical Assets

Michael Stanton

Written by Michael Stanton