Information is flying at us at breakneck speed, before we can even make sense of it. Our list of tasks and responsibilities is growing daily. Those scenarios are playing out across industries, layering stress on workers and on workflows. So how are office workers and healthcare providers coping and staying productive under the weight of all this? In healthcare, at hospitals, by block booking or block time scheduling to optimize operating room utilization.
At its core, block time scheduling is a bit like making a reservation for a hotel room—surgeons work with OR managers/directors or, in some cases, anesthesiologists, to reserve an OR room(s) on a certain day(s) and time(s) during which s/he will perform surgery. Given the fact that ORs are a hospital’s greatest revenue center, it’s critical to getting block time right.
When block time scheduling is done well, the benefits are plenty:
- Increased surgeon and staff satisfaction
- Sustained high utilization rates
- Effective use of your resources
- Smooth patient throughput
- Coordinated use of resources – pre-and post-op
- Contribution to financial health of the facility
The July 2017 issue of Outpatient Surgery features an article, “Ready to Tackle Block Time,” which offers six tips on doing block time right. It also provides insights into how and what to measure for alignment among provider, resources, and facility.