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Perioperative Anesthesia Lean Implementation IS Associated With Increased Operative Efficiency in Posterior Cervical Surgeries at a High-Volume Spine Center


OBJECTIVE:Lean management strategies aim to increase efficiency by eliminating waste or by improving processes to optimize value. The operating room (OR) is an arena where these strategies can be implemented. We assessed changes in OR efficiency after the application of lean methodology on perioperative anesthesia associated with posterior cervical spine surgeries. METHODS:We utilized pre- and post-lean study design to identify inefficiencies during the perioperative anesthesia process and implemented strategies to improve the process. Patient characteristics were recorded to assess for differences between the 2 groups (group 1, prelean; group 2, post-lean). In the pre-lean period, key steps in the perioperative anesthesia process were identified that were amenable to lean implementation. The time required for each identified key step was recorded by an independent study coordinator. The times for each step were then compared between the groups utilizing univariate analyses. RESULTS:After lean implementation, there was a significant decrease in overall perioperative anesthesia process time (88.4 ± 4.7 minutes vs. 76.2 ± 3.2 minutes, p = 0.04). This was driven by significant decreases in the steps: transport and setup (10.4 ± 0.8 minutes vs. 8.0 ± 0.7 minutes, p = 0.03) and positioning (20.8 ± 2.1 minutes vs. 15.7 ± 1.3 minutes, p = 0.046). Of note, the total time spent in the OR was lower for group 2 (270.1 ± 14.6 minutes vs. 252.8 ± 14.1 minutes) but the result was not statistically significant, even when adjusting for number of operated levels. CONCLUSION:Lean methodology may be successfully applied to posterior cervical spine surgery whereby improvements in the perioperative anesthetic process are associated with significantly increased OR efficiency.

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