The influence of anesthesia-controlled time on operating room scheduling in Dutch university medical centres

Elizabeth van Veen-Berkx*, Justin Bitter, Sylvia G. Elkhuizen, Wolfgang F. Buhre, Cor J. Kalkman, Hein G. Gooszen, Geert Kazemier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Predicting total procedure time (TPT) entails several elements subject to variability, including the two main components: surgeon-controlled time (SCT) and anesthesia-controlled time (ACT). This study explores the effect of ACT on TPT as a proportion of TPT as opposed to a fixed number of minutes. The goal is to enhance the prediction of TPT and improve operating room scheduling. Data from six university medical centres (UMCs) over seven consecutive years (2005-2011) were included, comprising 330,258 inpatient elective surgical cases. Based on the actual ACT and SCT, the revised prediction of TPT was determined as SCT x 1.33. Differences between actual and predicted total procedure times were calculated for the two methods of prediction. The predictability of TPT improved when the scheduling of procedures was based on predicting ACT as a proportion of SCT. Efficient operating room (OR) management demands the accurate prediction of the times needed for all components of care, including SCT and ACT, for each surgical procedure. Supported by an extensive dataset from six UMCs, we advise grossing up the SCT by 33% to account for ACT (revised prediction of TPT = SCT x 1.33), rather than employing a methodology for predicting ACT based on a fixed number of minutes. This recommendation will improve OR scheduling, which could result in reducing overutilized OR time and the number of case cancellations and could lead to more efficient use of limited OR resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-532
JournalCanadian Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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