The LPCH Cardiovascular (CV) Surgery Unit is one of a select few facilities where families can turn to have complex pediatric cardiac surgeries. However, surgical scheduling has not yet been optimized to allow for more families to take advantage of our world class care. Our objective is to optimize CV scheduling. Our team began the discovery process by conducting weekly interviews with the CV surgical schedulers to gain a strong understanding of their work flow and decision-making process. Later in this process, we shadowed surgical conferences, interviewed surgeons, and met with the Patient Experience Team. In tandem with our interviews, we analyzed surgical data to develop an full understanding of the current state of CV scheduling and identify areas of opportunity and challenge. Block utilization or the % of time that an OR block is occupied (shown in the surgical blocks for the CV unit to the left) is our proxy for measuring CV surgery access.
CV Tap List
Our project to improve CV access led us to develop three resources: (1) Detailed process flows of the Pulmonary Artery Reconstruction (PAR) and general CV surgery scheduling processes, capturing relevant decision and outcome variables, (2) Identification of strategies to increase utilization of current OR blocks and (3) A prototype, Excel-based automated scheduling tool, featuring beta versions of ideal functionalities along with the TAP Lists.
We created an architecture for our scheduling tool and TAP List. We then developed an Excel-based scheduling prototype which is currently being tested. These are meant to inspire a more permanent, enterprise-based software solution. We analyzed short run-time procedures and suggest that schedulers use our analyses to increase access and OR block utilization. Scheduling more of these types of procedures on days with remaining OR block time would improve access and avoid bumps from delays. With the expansion of the department, continued data analyses and iterations of the tool are critical for further optimization.