Getting the Most Out of Your Perioperative Information System

Getting accurate data in ... getting meaningful data out.

Your surgical and/or anesthesia information system(s) may be up and running - and running well ... but are you using the system(s) to its full potential? Do you “trust” the data coming out of the system(s)? Optimizing data collection and insuring quality data output can help to dramatically improve the financial, operational and quality performance of your operating room.

Where to start . . .
Getting accurate data in - go to the source!

  1. Review current data and staff workflow.
    a. Evaluate data entry at all points of care (scheduling through billing); look for gaps in data collection and for redundancy of data entry.
    b. Evaluate use of paper in the process.
  2. Review interfaced and/or integrated data by meeting with your system analysts to understand data flow and to ensure completeness and accuracy.
  3. Ascertain if validity checks are routinely performed on integrated/captured data.
  4. Consider new work flow processes as new IT solutions are introduced.

Getting meaningful data out.

  1. Determine what it is that your organization really needs out of the system. Ask around. What are the department’s needs? Management’s needs? Hospital leadership’s needs? What do physicians want to know?
  2. Evaluate reporting needs. Don’t just generate reports for the sake of running monthly reports. What reports - beyond the system’s default reports, do you need?
  3. Validate and re-validate data in the reports before initially distributing. (Very important.) This step will help:
    a. Ensure that you understand where the data is coming from and how it is being captured – particularly if the reports are pulling data from integrated or interfaced systems.
    b. Minimize the risk of posting/distributing inaccurate data by reviewing data one on one to review with stakeholders prior to wider distribution. (The last thing you want to do is post/distribute inaccurate physician data.)
  4. Generate and distribute the data in a clear, consistent and timely basis. Consider multiple options for distribution e.g.: active links, file share, intranet, posting trend reports throughout the OR.
  5. Continually benchmark performance of perioperative services.

Realizing the Benefits

Access to accurate data and meaningful reporting:

  • Improves room and block utilization and decreases schedule gaps
  • Improves staff scheduling accuracy, reduces overtime (and increases staff satisfaction)
  • Reduces inventory on-hand (improving cost performance)
  • Standardizes delivery of care: Provides access to “near real-time” data that helps improve quality and satisfaction e.g. more closely monitoring timely antibiotic administration and decreasing wait times
  • Facilitates better business management e.g. cost per case analysis and cost variance reporting

Good luck! Questions? Needs? Please drop us a note or give us a call.