Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 309–322 | Cite as

Surgical Suite Utilization and Capacity Planning: A Minimal Cost Analysis Model

  • David P. Strum
  • Luis G. Vargas
  • Jerrold H. May
  • Gerard Bashein


In this paper, we are concerned with cost reduction, operating suite utilization, and capacity planning in surgical services. We studied 58,251 computerized surgical records from a teaching hospital to determine a model for measuring operating suite utilization, analyzing the quality of surgical schedules, and allocating surgical suite budgets (capacity planning). The classical definition of operating suite (OR) utilization, encountered in the literature is the ratio of the total OR time used to the total OR time allocated or budgeted. To create a better measure of utilization, we measured underutilization and overutilization providing a more complete description of the overall use of resources. Because the costs of under and overutilization of operating suites are high, they are attractive potential targets for cost minimization and the magnitude of the potential savings are such that attempts to measure and eliminate this inefficiency could be financially rewarding.

capacity expansion capacity planning for surgical suites hospital minimizing costs measurement of utilization 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David P. Strum
    • 1
  • Luis G. Vargas
    • 2
  • Jerrold H. May
    • 2
  • Gerard Bashein
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of ArkansasLittle Rock
  2. 2.The Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh
  3. 3.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

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