Monitoring Surgical Conversion Rates for Better Surgical Efficiency

Posted by Cross Current on June 13, 2017

More and more orthopaedic practices are using non-operative musculoskeletal physicians to provide an enhanced level of care and attention to patients with sports and spine injuries.  Patients find the initial contact with a non-operative physician to discuss non-operative treatments a natural first step in the care process.  


Effective usage of non-operative physicians creates a trusting approach to care and improves patient satisfaction while having substantial operational and revenue benefits to orthopaedic practices.  One way to measure the impact of non-operative physician usage is by measuring surgical conversion rates.  Surgical conversion rate measures new patient visits seen by a surgeon divided by the number of surgeries performed.  Practices that employ non-operative physicians can substantially lower surgical conversion rates resulting in increased surgical staff efficiency and allocation of resources.

The Rothman Institute, employing 99 orthopaedic surgeons, tracked the impact of employing non-operative surgical conversion rates with their analytics system.   Over a 3 year period the practice reduced their enterprise surgical conversion rate from 3.5 to 2.1.  This increased surgical capacity nearly 300 hours per surgeon year, and revenue opportunities over $75,000 per surgeon annually.   

By tracking and benchmarking surgical conversion rates by physician and subspecialty, practices can identify best practices and develop optimal workflows with non-operative physicians, schedulers and practice office managers.  In one Rothman office, the addition of a Podiatrist reduced surgical conversion rate for foot and ankle surgeons by 50%.

In this scattergram, surgical conversion rates are displayed in a Tableau workbook.  Each surgeon is color coded by subspecialty with subspecialty benchmarks noted at the top.  Visual comparisons by surgeon and surgical specialty can identify top and underperformers with further details available by clicking on each point on the graph.

This workbook analysis can monitor conversion rates by a variety of resources including call center schedulers, office staff, and non-operative providers.  Outliers are quickly identified to enable practice leaders to convert insights to action.

Patient’s expect the use of quality non-operative resources to support a complete patient care experience.  The good news is that non-operative resources support a “best practice” experience aligns with improving organizational efficiency.  Practices are successfully making this transition.  With the proper tools to track and monitor their performance, these organizations are positioning to improve their brand and their bottom lines.

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Topics: business intelligence, surgical conversion rates

Written by Cross Current