A new study exploring efforts to keep operating rooms free of contamination ended up revealing some interesting findings about inefficiencies.
In 190 surgeries lasting from about an hour-and-a-half to just over three hours, researchers found doors opened every 2.5 minutes and remained ajar for nearly 10 minutes on average.
In most cases, they were open “long enough for positive room pressure to be defeated, causing air to flow into the operating room.” This reversed air flow essentially undercut ventilation and other sophisticated systems designed to keep airborne contaminants out.
The staff's effect on what are supposed to sterile surroundings were surprising to the authors.
“Excessive operating room traffic may indicate logistical and personnel management inefficiencies,” the authors wrote in the study published this week in the journal Orthopedics.
In fact, inefficiencies in the OR care-delivery processes are pretty common and can be “remarkably chaotic,” suggested Dr. John Toussaint, CEO of the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value.