One of the heaviest investments by a hospital that chooses to perform invasive procedures is the operating theatre. Besides the initial capital costs in building and equipping that can be depreciated over several years, running costs remain significantly high due to dependency on high-value resources such as surgeons, anaesthetists and qualified nursing staff.

Scheduling patients for operations is a complex exercise compared to an outpatient visit. Firstly, there are many inter-dependencies. Not only does the appointment clerks need to confirm the availability of surgeons, nursing staff & teams (if they are organised so), but also have to de-conflict the usage of all shared physical resources such as equipment, theatre & recovery areas.

Additionally, each procedure requires different length of OT time and for major hospitals, the procedures they do run into thousands. To make things even more complicated, surgeons operate at different speeds and hence duration of their slots can be varied for the same type of procedure. For a person to remember all these details, it would be virtually impossible.

Besides costs and scheduling complexity, another problem faced by OT administrators are cancellations. In year 2001-02, 82,000 patients in England had their operations cancelled by the hospital at the last minute (either on the day they were due to arrive or after they had arrived in hospital). A similar number of patients are likely to have their operations cancelled by the hospital for non-clinical reasons at some point before the day of surgery . In other words, costly cancellations are avoidable.

All the issues highlighted above point to a simple conclusion – operating theatres need to be managed efficiently to optimize the return on investments.

novaMSC’s VESALIUS-OTM is dedicated to providing the industry a suite of products aimed at improving the delivery of care to the patients, from the time they are scheduled for a surgical procedure up to the time they recover at the wards.

We achieve this by creating an environment ideal for administrators and medical practitioners alike to compile and manage all patient records electronically – both clinical and otherwise. Users can build sets of booking rules for every operating room based on operational needs and allow it to perform complex task of de-conflicting dependencies. Online and accurate listing allows more time for those involved to plan and carry out their duties, e.g. surgeon to view and re-shuffle list, Central Sterile Supplies Unit (CSSU) to pack instrument sets and nurses to finalize preference sets.

Some of the key features in VESALIUS-OTM are:

  • Multiple appointment books with different scheduling rules and costs allocation
  • Block-booking by surgical department or individual surgeon
  • Wait-list for cases where the scheduled dated is unconfirmed
  • Fully coded surgical procedures with length of time
  • Standardized processes with reminders to minimize cancellations
  • Administrative workflow automation with links to Patient Administration and Billing systems
  • OT Chit to improve co-ordination between the theatres and inpatient wards during patient movements
  • Big Board View to keep track of the patient’s location movement within the operating theatre.
  • Reduced administrative overheads
  • Scalable to handle large hospitals with >20 OTs

VESALIUS-OTM is expandable to include modules such as Peri-Operative Charting and Anaesthesia Record Keeping to form one single seamless administrative and clinical solution, as illustrated in the diagram.

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