Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present the effect of the introduction of cross-functional team (CFT)-based organization, rather than, on planning and performance of OR teams. Design/methodology/approach – In total, two surgical departments of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center (RUNMC) in the Netherlands were selected to illustrate the effect on performance. Data were available for a total of seven consecutive years from 2005 until 2012 and consisted of 4,046 OR days for surgical Department A and 1,154 OR days for surgical Department B on which, respectively 8,419 and 5,295 surgical cases were performed. The performance indicator “raw utilization” of the two surgical Departments was presented as box-and-whisker plots per year (2005-2011). The relationship between raw utilization (y) and years (x) was analyzed with linear regression analysis, to observe if performance changed over time. Findings – Based on the linear regression analysis, raw utilization of surgical Department A showed a statistically significant increase since 2006. The variation in raw utilization reduced from IQR 33 percent in 2005 to IQR 8 percent in 2011. Surgical Department B showed that raw utilization increased since 2005. The variation in raw utilization reduced from IQR 21 percent in 2005 to IQR 8 percent in 2011. Social implications – Hospitals need to improve their productivity and efficiency in response to higher societal demands and rapidly escalating costs. The RUNMC increased their OR performance significantly by introduction of CFT-based organization in the operative process and abandoning the so called functional silos. Originality/value – The stepwise reduction of variation – a decrease of IQR during the years – indicates an organizational learning effect. This study demonstrates that introducing CFTs improve OR performance by working together as a team.

OR, Performance, Self-managing teams, Teamwork, The Netherlands
dx.doi.org/10.1108/JHOM-07-2013-0145, hdl.handle.net/1765/87143
Journal of Health, Organisation and Management
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Bitter, J, van Veen-Berkx, E, van Amelsvoort, P, & Gooszen, H.G. (2015). Preoperative cross functional teams improve OR performance. Journal of Health, Organisation and Management, 29(3), 343–352. doi:10.1108/JHOM-07-2013-0145