In our role as perioperative consultants, we review operating room (O.R.) efficiency of large and small hospitals, ambulatory centers and non-operating room sites. When we ask hospitals if they know their cost per O.R. minute, we find that most do not. Studies have demonstrated that per-minute O.R. cost may be as high as $130, not including physician or nursing time. It is appropriate that hospitals focus on their O.R. delays and turnovers to address these high costs. However, we find that when hospitals believe delays and turnover costs are due to anesthesia, they often arrive at the wrong solution, i.e., eliminating anesthesia tech positions. At Premier Consulting Services, we maintain that eliminating these positions has the unintended consequences of increasing expenses and delays in the O.R.

Anesthesia techs work in the shadows of other perioperative team members, setting...

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