In 2006, the board, administration and staff at Louisiana’s Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (TRMC) decided their operating room (OR) suites represented an opportunity for improvement. Rising demand, costs and competition were all signals that the hospital would need to either invest in expansion or operational efficiency.
Taking the less glamorous and more difficult path of improving efficiency, the team employed a combination of Lean, Six Sigma, modeling and Change Acceleration Process. One aspect of the initiative would be to increase on-time first-case starts. When the first surgical case of the day starts late, it delays subsequent cases, causing bottlenecks and frustrating patients, surgeons and staff.