Background and Purpose: Robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALRP) is the most expensive, yet most common, surgical treatment for patients with prostate cancer. Furthermore, its popularity continues to grow despite the lack of evidence for functional and oncologic superiority over other treatments. As a result, we modified operating room (OR) processes to determine if the times and costs that are associated with RALRP in an academic setting could be reduced. Patients and Methods: Four modifications in OR processes were implemented: Trainee adherence to time-oriented surgical goals; use of a dedicated anesthesia team; simultaneous processing by nursing and urology house staff during case turnover; and identification and elimination of unused disposable instruments. Total surgical, anesthesia, and OR turnover times were measured. Payroll, surgical supply, OR time, and anesthesia costs were also measured. One hundred RALRP cases before and after the modifications were implemented were compared. Results: Patients undergoing RALRP were similar both before and after the modifications were implemented. Total surgical, anesthesia, and turnover times were reduced by 17.4 (6.8%, P=0.041), 4.5 (19.1%, P=0.006), and 12.1 (28.1%, P=0.005) minutes, respectively. Payroll, surgical supply, and OR costs were reduced by $330 (25%), $609 (15.7%), and $1638 (27.7%), respectively. There was no fiscally significant change in anesthesia costs. Conclusions: Using simple modifications, it is possible that RALRP efficiency can be improved by decreasing its associated times and costs. These modifications were implemented in an academic setting but may be used in any institution. These modifications represent an initial attempt to improve RALRP cost-competitiveness with other treatment modalities.
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