Prescriptive Intelligence and the OR at UCHealth (news article)

from revcycleintelligence dot com via thinkstock

Proud of our COO and CIO and their efforts to revolutionize our Operating Room Efficiency through machine learning as well as some social engineering.

SBAR statement

Situation: Operating Rooms are some of the most expensive real estate in a hospital. How can we improve utilization rates in the face of surgeons protecting their OR time (motivations are not aligned), AND there is poor, non-realtime data on OR utilization?

Background: OR block times are allocated to surgeons (CT Lin gets Tuesdays all day and Thursday mornings in OR #3; just kidding, I’m not a surgeon). CT Lin thus protects his time slot. Sometimes he’s busy and uses the entire time, but often he doesn’t need all that time; and an OR team (anesthesia, nurses, techs) sit around idle. How can we use modern tools, social engineering, data analytics to improve utilization WITHOUT building lots more Operating Rooms?


  1. Apply machine learning to several years of OR scheduling data. Figure out that there is a way to ‘shape’ the OR schedule from previous experience so that each operation lasts as long as it needs to.
  2. Figure out how to move blocks around to use the same allocated time more fully.
  3. Create a social media “OR block exchange” tool to allow surgeons to release block time without penalty and bid for unused blocks when needing extra OR time.
  4. Create incentive that those who ‘release’ blocks consistently and keep their actual OR usage percentage high, get first dibs on any unused blocks. Win-win!
  5. Result; $10M increase in revenue from better utilization, no need to build new OR’s.  Read the linked article for details.


CMIO’s take? Wow, love it when innovation is more than just talk. Proud of  the results of our Innovation work.

Author: CT Lin

CMIO, UCHealth (Colorado); Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine

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