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Correspondence and Brief Communications |

Longer Surgical Durations Can Lead to Significant Staffing Costs to the Anesthesiology Department and Hospital—Reply

Timothy J. Babineau, MD, MBA, FACS
Arch Surg. 2005;140(2):212. doi:10.1001/archsurg.140.2.212-b.
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We appreciate the interest of Dr Abouleish and colleagues in our article and thank them for their comments. Our article did not specifically examine the costs related to anesthesia personnel as such. Dr Abouleish’s comments regarding such costs stand on their own merit. However, because overtime costs represent less than 10% of our operating room’s fixed costs, it is unlikely that a hospital would realize significant cost savings through overtime reduction. For that to be the case, overtime would have to be eliminated entirely. Since the majority of overtime costs at our institution (and nationwide) are incurred through emergency and add-on cases, and not longer surgical duration cases, it is unlikely that reduced operating times would translate into real cost savings. Again, we appreciate Dr Abouleish’s interest in our article.

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