Case Study Q. 3: Ans. From the statistical record, it is quite clear that Dr. Christopher relies on two surgeons, one of whom i.e. B is skilled in the execution of surgeries that are more in demand like the surgery for ACL ligament repair that has the maximum scheduled number of patients per week, and Achilles tendon repair etcetera whereas the second surgeon i.e. A is skilled in such surgeries as knee replacement and hip replacement. A very important point to note is that surgeon B takes very less changeover time i.e. 20 minutes for the two surgeries that are the most and the second to most in demand whereas surgeon B takes as long as 60 minutes for the most required and the second to most required surgery that he executes. In addition, surgeon B is more skilled as he does surgeries of a greater variety as compared to the surgeon A. Keeping these facts into consideration, one way for Dr. Christopher to increase the patient throughput and accordingly the revenues without compromising upon the quality of care is to add a surgeon who is skilled in the surgeries of ACL ligament repair, Achilles tendon repair, and knee replacement since these are the surgeries with a lot of demand. The second approach can be to use the surgeons A and B only for the surgeries that are more in demand and stop doing surgeries in areas that have no demand. The record shows that no patient has been scheduled for the surgeries of big toe replacement and fractured hip, so the changeover time of 45 minutes consumed by surgeon A and B in these surgeries can be utilized more efficiently by doing more surgeries of ACL ligament repair that, though Dr. Christopher needs to train surgeon A to perform this surgery. Dr. Christopher can also increase the revenues without compromising upon the quality of service by better management of time. Presently, the surgeries are done only from 7:00 am to 12:00 noon whereas in the time thereafter, patients are seen either in the hospital or the clinic. After noon till break-off, there is plenty of time that can be availed in actually performing surgeries rather than just checking patients. At least, this time can be used to perform the surgeries that take equal to or less than 1 hour to perform and are high in demand like the ACL ligament repair surgery, the Achilles tendon repair surgery or the rotator cuff repair surgery. Yet another way is to keep the number of surgeons the same but divide the surgeries between before noon and after noon time depending upon the time they take. For example, Dr. Christopher should make the surgeons perform the hip replacement, knee replacement, and shoulder replacement surgeries in the morning when the surgeons are more fresh and make them do such small surgeries as cartilage knee repair and archilles tendon repair after the noon. This might reduce the changeover time needed by the surgeons and improve their efficiency and productivity.
David Christopher Orthopedic Surgeon