AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Financial Tips Every OR Leader Should Know

A Conversation with Pamela S. Hunt, MSN, RN


Financial Tips Every OR Leader Should Know

December 9, 2018     

Are your productivity calculations meeting targets and supporting revenue growth? Do you understand organizational measurements for financial success? Build your financial know-how (and your hospital’s revenue) with these pearls from a finance pro.

Surgery is a major profit driver for hospitals and growth in this area can play a pivotal role in the success of the entire organization. This means perioperative leaders’ responsibilities are not limited to the large equipment decisions and operational supplies, but must also cover the accurate use of the human resources in the OR.

In fact, maintaining nursing staff competencies is critical to the quality and costs of the organization. Successful oversight of this responsibility can mean the difference between an organization’s financial stability and turmoil.

If you’re a perioperative nursing leader who lacks experience or confidence in your financial management skills, here are four tips to get on track.

1. Understand how to determine the return on investment for a major investment of equipment.

Example: Calculate projected revenue of a new service based on predicted payer mix to determine break-even point.

2. Articulate how flexible and variable costs are incorporated into an accurate return on investment.

Example: Know how to demonstrate the impact on your operational budget of the new catheter needed to go with the capital equipment purchase.

3. Calculate the full-time employees needed to provide a quality staffing model of your OR.

Example: If volume of cases fluctuates weekly or monthly, know action plans to fluctuate your staffing to match volume changes.

4. Determine how non-productive time, turnaround time, and lunch relief time are impacting your staffing calculations.

Example: Evaluate if you have enough staff to cover breaks and lunch time, without leaving a gap in a scheduled room.

Ready to learn more? Attend Pam’s full-day certificate program on surgical services financial management for more in-depth training on revenue and expense variances, operational budgets, capital equipment justifications, and how to develop a return on investment break-even analysis at the Leadership Summit at AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo April 7–10 in Nashville.

Pamela S. Hunt, MSN, RN, is a Chief Nurse Executive in Indianapolis.