Purpose: The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak affected health care systems at different levels with important consequences on health, economy, and social structures. This paper aims to analyse the impact on surgical block utilisation and efficiency in an orthopaedics reference centre in Northern Italy. Methods: The timeframe chosen for the current analysis was April 2020, to be compared with the corresponding period in 2019. Number and type of procedures, first case delay, occupancy rate, and turnover time were used as indicators to benchmark the activities. Results: The overall number of surgical procedures decreased by 57%, from 537 in 2019 to 230 in the same timeframe in 2020. Orthopaedic procedures predominated in 2019, with 434 cases (80.8%), while in 2020, trauma was the leading activity, with 200 cases (86.9%). Orthopaedic surgery had a relative decrement of 93% while trauma has relatively increased by 94%. Mean first case delay in orthopaedic room (OR) was two hours and 36 minutes (SD 01:40:21) in 2020 compared with only 19 minutes (SD 00:02:15) in 2019. OR occupancy rate was 59% in 2020 compared with 89% in 2019. Turnover time raised from 21 minutes in 2019 to 53 min in 2020. Conclusions: These data clearly show the deep impact of COVID-19 pandemic on OR facilities. Efficiency indicators fell dramatically in April 2020 compared with the corresponding period in 2019. This scenario will deeply affect both the waiting lists and the economic burden of the hospital. Regaining efficiency and maintaining the quality and safety of the process while restoring elective orthopaedic surgery are among the main challenges that surgeons will face in the next time.
- Operating room
- Orthopaedic trauma
- Performance indicators
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine