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Electronic theatre booking form

Electronic theatre booking form

The aims of the Electronic Booking Form project are to:

  • reduce unnecessary duplication of paperwork
  • ensure all acute surgery cases are booked in and that time of booking captured
  • support other projects underway for the Acute Theatre Redesign Programme


Booking a patient for surgery is one of many administrative tasks doctors need to do during their day. A simpler, faster and more reliable way to communicate the necessary health information will help facilitate the booking process and give doctors more time to spend with their patients.

What did we find?

Existing booking processes for surgery required doctors to complete a paper form that was faxed to theatre. This information had to be manually entered into the electronic theatre management system. This process was not as efficient as it could be and there was the potential for missing or erroneous information.

It was also identified that there was no standardised way to prioritise patients for surgery and this meant that urgent surgery could sometimes be delayed.

What did we do?

1. Developed an automated and electronic booking form and process

An electronic booking form with compulsory fields was developed to ensure the completion of necessary and relevant information. This form is electronically sent to theatre staff who can enter the required information into the electronic theatre management system ensuring complete and accurate transfer.

Examples of necessary and relevant information include:

  • reason for surgery
  • priority
  • other medical conditions to consider
  • whether an interpreter is required

This form is then sent and captured in a list of bookings for theatre.

Electronic theatre booking form
Electronic theatre booking form [click to view larger image]

2. Developed acute patient prioritisation

We also developed a standardised prioritisation tool to help ensure patients requiring surgery receive treatment when they need it
eg E0 (urgent needs) = within 15 minutes, E4 = within 4 hours, up to E24 (less urgent needs)= within 24 hours

For patients who require more specialist input (eg spine) or who’s clinical condition means that they are not fit for surgery (eg reduced swelling required for a fractured ankle) are categorised as ‘Acute Arranged’ patients and are scheduled for surgery after 24 hours.

Acute patient prioritisation tool built into electronic theatre booking form
Acute patient prioritisation tool built into electronic theatre booking form

Did we make a difference?

The introduction of the electronic booking form has:

  • reduced the duplication of work
  • reduced the risk of errors being made in booking patients for theatre
  • provided greater clarity of who is booked for theatre
  • provided key information for other improvement projects

Where to from here?

  • Ensure that the booking form continues to be used for all acute surgical cases
  • The electronic booking form and data captured in the form will support other ongoing improvements within the overarching Acute Theatre Redesign programme including Clinically Appropriate Time to Theatre, Acute Theatre Turnaround Time, Theatre Whiteboard and Escalation Processes

This project forms part of our overarching Acute Theatre Redesign programme.

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