A surgeon sends a frozen section mid-procedure to the pathology lab for analysis, and the lab’s response is delayed. Waiting for analysis increases the risk of infection and other complications. Alternatively, closing prior to knowing the results may lead to the procedure having to be repeated on the patient at a later time.
The real-time OR schedule and alerts were made transparent to the pathology lab. Pathology lab personnel now track in real-time those OR cases requiring their attention, including procedure delays, wheels-in, first-cut, etc. The pathology lab now coordinates their work, breaks, and lunches with the needs of the OR.
Surgeons acknowledge that coordination and cooperation with the pathology lab is improved and that surgical delays due to pathology have been reduced. These results have directly improved surgeon satisfaction, patient safety, and the department’s operating efficiency.