EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF ORGANIZATIONAL POLICIES ON SURGEONS’ AVAILABILITY TO OPERATE: A COMPUTER SIMULATION APPROACH
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Surgical services contribute to a large proportion of a hospital’s costs and revenues thus it is important to understand key performance drivers so that resources can be distributed in an informed way. Organizational policies can affect the performance of the peri-operative process, however, there is a lack of knowledge within the health services literature regarding how the organizational policies of a surgical service affect surgeons’ availability to perform operations. Additionally, simulation-based research has largely focused on operating room planning and scheduling, not on how surgeons’ operating time may be affected by organizational policies. The objective of this simulation study was to estimate the effects of organizational policies on surgeons’ availability to operate in the context of cardiac surgical care. The major finding was that surgeons’ availability to operate declines if surgeons are not permitted to be on-call and scheduled in the OR for non-emergency operations on the same day.