Covid-19 Created an Elective Surgery Backlog. How Can Hospitals Get Back on Track?

Publication
Harvard Business Review

Citation

Jain, A., Dai, T., Bibee, K., & Myers, C.G. 2020. Covid-19 created an elective surgery backlog. How can hospitals get back on track? Harvard Business Review, Digital article. https://hbr.org/2020/08/covid-19-created-an-elective-surgery-backlog-how-can-hospitals-get-back-on-track

Summary

Now that most U.S. states have lifted restrictions on elective surgery, hospital leaders across the country have been rushing to implement ramp up strategies. While there are many good reasons to ramp back up quickly (health concerns and revenue shock), it is important that speed does not overtake strategy. Restarting elective surgery haphazardly may result in unintended consequences and create bottlenecks that impede overall hospital operations. Researchers suggest five strategies that healthcare leaders can employ today to meet their clinical objectives, while aiming for better operational efficiency and equity in access to care: Develop consistent, transparent, and bias-aware algorithms for surgical prioritization; expand surgical capacity by transitioning to outpatient care; form dedicated teams to improve operating room efficiency; think beyond the traditional five-day work week; focus on simplifying patients’ surgical care experience.

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