Theatre efficiency



theatre efficiency, theatre utilisation, OT time, OT cancellations


Productivity and efficiency can be defined in various ways depending on the industry in question. The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Surgical Services Taskforce defines productivity as “the quantity of outputs produced per unit of input. It is calculated by dividing average output per period by the total costs incurred or resources (capital, equipment, labour) consumed in that period”.1 Such outputs in the theatre environment would translate to completed surgery, for instance, hip replacement, aortic valve replacement or total abdominal hysterectomy. This productivity can be measured for a single operating theatre (OT), theatre complex, a surgical subunit or across different hospitals.1 Efficiency, on the other hand, can be described in two contexts, namely, input-orientated or output-orientated. Input-orientated efficiency is considered when the same output can be produced from fewer inputs, whereas output-orientated efficiency considers whether an output can be produced using the same inputs. In the theatre setting, time is the main focus when defining efficiency, where the reduction of time related to input levels translates into efficiency. The minimisation of wasted time, unused time and maximising output will translate to efficient production of surgical cases.1

Author Biography

HJ Moutlana, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Anaesthesiology, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa






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