CommonSpirit Health, a combination of DignityHealth and Catholic Health Initiatives, is a nationwide health system of more than 350 hospitals.
With this many hospitals, it can be difficult to implement technology across the entire system that employees will actually warm to, said Brian Dawson, system vice president of perioperative services at CommonSpirit Health.
“We struggled with a lot of unused operating room time,” he recalled. “For reference, every unused minute in a prepared, ready-to-use operating room costs a hospital about $100. So, unsurprisingly, we wanted to solve this issue to avoid unnecessary expenditures across the health system.
“With that in mind, I’ve always looked for ways to improve operations in healthcare,” he continued. “About three-and-a-half years ago, someone working in strategy for DignityHealth approached me about an initiative they had started called ‘Rock the block.’ The team there was looking for ways to reduce unused OR block time, since it was really costing us a lot of unnecessary money.”
The “Rock the block” process would start with nurses at certain hospitals looking through each individual OR schedule to find openings and emailing those openings to surgeons in hopes they would claim the time and the OR would not go unused.
“We have these sorts of scheduling and utilization systems in so many industries, such as retail and travel. Why shouldn’t we adopt it for healthcare?”
Brian Dawson, CommonSpirit Health