Assigning surgical cases with regional anesthetic blocks to anesthetists and operating rooms based on operating room efficiency

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Aana J

Journal/Book/Conference Title

AANA Journal

PubMed ID



The popularity of regional anesthesia blocks for both intraoperative anesthesia and postoperative pain management supports the inclusion of the administration of regional anesthesia into discussions about operating room (OR) efficiency. This article reviews the literature on OR efficiency with a focus on day-of-surgery decision making. Vignettes show regional anesthesia block placement is a variable that can affect the efficiency of use of OR time. Clinical examples highlight OR management issues and staff assignment decisions on the day of surgery. Regional anesthetic block placement can affect surgical schedules, and thus OR efficiency. When patient safety is unaffected, rearranging OR schedules on the day of surgery to place regional blocks, meet surgeon requests, or move up incision times should generally not be done if doing so results in otherwise unnecessary increases in overutilized OR time.


Anesthesia, Epidural/utilization, Anesthesiology/economics/manpower, Appointments and Schedules, Decision Making, Organizational, Efficiency, Organizational, Humans, Nerve Block/utilization, Nursing Staff, Hospital/economics/supply & distribution, Operating Rooms/organization & administration, Personnel Staffing and Scheduling/organization & administration, Safety Management/organization & administration, Time Management

Published Article/Book Citation

AANA Journal, 74:3 (2006) pp.213-218.

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