Operating Room Personnel Determine Efficiency of Pediatric Spinal Fusions for Scoliosis


Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Objectives: To investigate the effect of different surgeons, anesthesiologists, and cRNAs individually and in teams on various perioperative and operative time intervals in a large, high-volume children's hospital. Summary of Background Data: Along with individual factors, studies have indicated that team factors play a role in efficiency, with larger teams leading to increased procedure times. An operating room (OR) staff dedicated to orthopedics has been reported to decrease turnover time; however, the characteristics and behaviors of surgical team members, to our knowledge, have not been analyzed as possible factors contributing to pediatric OR efficiency, and limited research has been conducted in the field of orthopedic personnel. Methods: Chart review identified consecutive pediatric and adolescent patients who had primary posterior spinal fusion (PSF) of ≥7 levels for correction of spinal deformity. Time intervals and delays were recorded based on previous studies looking at OR efficiency and adjusted to the specific time points available in our perioperative nursing records. Results: Adjusted for etiology, osteotomy, fusion levels, distance from hospital, staff switch, and body mass index, there was a significant difference in patient wait time among anesthesiologists, surgeon-anesthesiologist, and anesthesiologist-certified registered nurse anesthetist (cRNA) teams; in surgery prep time and total prep among surgeons and SA teams; and in surgery time and total room time among surgeons. There were no significant differences among cRNAs, individually, in any time interval. Conclusions: Anesthesiologists have a significant effect before and surgeons have a significant effect after entry into the OR. Identification of this variability provides an opportunity to study the differences in habits and processes of high- and low-efficiency teams, which can then be applied to all teams with the goal of improving performance of all surgical teams. Level of Evidence: Level IV, case series.

Publication Title

Spine Deformity