Big Data for the OR?

As hospitals continue to develop technology geared toward leveraging the big data push in healthcare, a new multidisciplinary approach has emerged with an emphasis on statistics and scientific thinking. Consequently, statisticians with the ability to synthesize data sets with day-to-day healthcare operations are becoming more prevalent in the industry. If your hospital or OR department is still in the initial stages of this “golden era for statistics”, it might be time to determine how to survive in a data-centric industry.

It makes sense to us that a predictive, analytical approach towards surgical case duration will result in better OR planning. And it's not just us. We have seen that OR managers are increasingly being pushed to establish more efficient ways of collecting, storing, categorizing, and presenting data solutions. Basing predictions off of a surgeon's estimations should be a thing of the past. Predictions drawn from surgical statistics will improve accuracy significantly resulting in less overtime and fewer cancellations - leaving more time for additional surgical cases.

Most importantly, the addition of analytical minds to a care-centric workplace “will ensure the best science is brought to bear”. Multidisciplinary teams will create new theories and approaches; adding an important body of knowledge to complex data sets. We think big data is here to stay, especially in the OR realm. Let us know what you think.