Hospital Operating Room Turnover – 6 Steps

Hospital Operating Room Turnover – 6 Steps

By: Vincent Polito   |     December 14, 2017

Hospital Operating Room turnaround or changeover time is a vital measure of performance for a hospital. An idle operating room can cost a hospital over $4K per hour in revenue as well as reduced patient satisfaction.  Reducing the room turnaround or changeover time leads to reduced patient wait times, increased access, higher revenues, improved patient satisfaction and patient safety. Operating Room availability is an intricate balance between several departments to discharge patients, clean rooms and assign rooms to new patients. Delays in bed turnaround time and the availability of a clean and ready bed, result in delayed admission process, which in turn leads to reduced Operating Room throughput and increase ED patient wait times and holds. It impacts the movement of patients throughout the hospital.

Group50’s Healthcare Consulting Practice utilizes Lean tools and techniques borrowed from our manufacturing expertise. One of the most effective improvement techniques to improve room turnover or changeover time is derived from Single Minute Exchange Die ( SMED ) techniques utilized in Lean Operations methodologies.  This methodology requires 6 basic steps:

  1. Reduce Waste – map all the steps in the process needed to changeover a room and identify and eliminate anything that is not adding value
  2. Separate Internal & External Tasks – list the steps in sequence and define those steps that can be done while the room is being used from those that only can be done when the room is empty
  3. Convert Internal Tasks to External Tasks – review all Internal tasks and move them to External wherever possible
  4. Improve the Internal Tasks – conduct projects to improve the process of those steps that must be conducted with the room empty
  5. Apply Team Approach – write and document work flow standards that clearly explain the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the room changeover
  6. Improve External Tasks – conduct projects to improve the process of those steps that are conducted externally

It’s not uncommon for room turnover times to be cut by 50% or more after the first pass and subsequent passes. Utilizing cross functional teams generate better results as well.

To find out more about how Group50 can help your healthcare system significantly increase productivity and asset management, call us at (909) 949-9083, drop us a line at or request more information here.


About the Author:  Vincent Polito is Group50’s Healthcare Practice leader with over thirty years of experience as an executive and healthcare consultant in the design and delivery of Lean, Lean Transformation and Operational Excellence in the Healthcare, Medical Device, Industrial Manufacturing, Aerospace, Textile and Oil and Gas industries.  He has held senior management roles in operations, materials, quality, and business development.

Vinnie pioneered Lean techniques in Healthcare. At the forefront of Lean in Healthcare since 2003 he has provided guidance to over 100 hospitals, physician/specialty practices, insurance health plans and home health systems in North America. He has a grasp and appreciates of the mission and complexity of Healthcare. He translates Lean principles and techniques into effective delivery strategies and execution specifically meeting the critical needs and culture of Healthcare. Some his more notable Healthcare clients include, Thedacare, Denver Health, Beth Israel Deaconess, Barnes Jewish, New York Health and Hospitals, and Priority Health. His Lean support of Healthcare has included initiatives for non-clinical organizations including the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and National Quality Forum (NQF).

Vinnie has led and executed Lean transformation in a diverse range of industries with a client list of Fortune 500 organizations including Boeing, Alcoa, Lockheed Martin, Rockwell-Collins, Duracell, Owens-Corning, Sandia Labs and Hanes Brands. #group50, #healthcareconsulting, healthcare consulting firm, healthcare consulting, #healthcare, healthcare consultant

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This entry was posted in Healthcare, on December 14, 2017

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