Original Article

Assessing operating room turnover time via the use of mobile application

Majbah Uddin, Robert Allen, Nathan Huynh, Jose M. Vidal, Kevin M. Taaffe, Lawrence D. Fredendall, Joel S. Greenstein


Background: Improving operating room (OR) utilization is crucial to hospitals. This study examines the effectiveness of a mobile application co-developed with hospital staff to track OR turnover time (TOT).
Methods: An Android-based app, named ORTimer, was used by staff in two OR units (GI-Lab and D-Core) of Greenville Memorial Hospital (GMH) in South Carolina. The staff used the app to record milestones and note delay reasons (if applicable). A total of 1,782 turnover observations from the GI-Lab and 694 turnover observations from the D-Core were collected for the study. Using data collected from the app and additional information from GMH’s electronic medical record system, a two-sample proportionality test was conducted to test the hypothesis that the use of the app improved OR turnover performance (i.e., the TOT is equal to or less than the allotted time).
Results: The result of the hypothesis test indicates that a higher percentage of observations in the GI-Lab and D-Core met their turnover target time when the ORTimer app was used. Additionally, multiple regression analysis was used to identify significant factors that contribute to prolonged OR TOT and to estimate their impacts.
Conclusions: The app serves as both a visual management tool as well as a TOT data collection tool. By identifying barriers to the on-time completion of the turnaround, the app allows for continuous improvement of the turnover process.

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