Usage of Potential Operating Theatre Time
Potential operating theatre time takes the approach of planning for theatres to be used as all-day sessions for every work day during the year. This time may be used for both elective and emergency surgery.
Planning for theatres to be used as all-day sessions means that there is no set break between the morning and afternoon sessions. Our subject expert advised that the most efficient operating theatres do not break over the lunch period. The operating theatres are staffed in a way that allows for nurses and theatre staff, such as orderlies, to be on a roster for lunch, allowing the operating theatres to be used for as much time as possible.
We have calculated the potential operating theatre time available for use at each of the hospitals based on:
- the number of hours between the planned start and finish for operating theatres on normal work days at each hospital, to give the potential number of hours available per day
- the number of operating theatres at each hospital
- 251 work days in 2014 (being Monday to Friday with the exclusion of public holidays).
The table below identifies the potential operating theatre time at each hospital in 2014.
Using TMS data, we then calculated how this potential operating theatre time was used. The following chart shows that the theatres were occupied by patients (both elective and emergency cases) for 61.5 per cent of the potential operating theatre time. This indicates there is additional capacity that could be used to treat patients.