The second year of the pandemic had its impact on the work in our operating rooms. Despite the complications caused by the coronavirus, we attained a good performance in surgical operations.

We performed 86,772 surgical procedures in 2021. This represented an increase on the previous year and was almost at the pre-pandemic level of 2019.

“Although the coronavirus pandemic affected us particularly severely in spring and towards the end of the year, we got close to the 2019 level, which was our goal. Total operating room hours were only 2.5% less and the number of procedures was 5% less than in 2019,” says Head Physician Anne Vakkuri, Head of the Operating Rooms II Division.

New surgery ward at Park Hospital

We opened a new anesthesia and surgery ward at Park Hospital in October. Breast and venous surgery were relocated to Park Hospital from the Surgical Hospital, and plastic surgery from Töölö Hospital. Surgical procedures performed at Orton Hospital were likewise relocated to Park Hospital.

Our work was complicated not only by personnel transfers to intensive care required because of the pandemic but also by a shortage of anesthesia nurses and operative nurses.

Quality work and Lean development

Quality standards work was pursued in our operating rooms, and preparations were made for quality system accreditation.

We also explored Lean development. We introduced ‘control rooms’, which are weekly meetings for reviewing surgical procedures on the basis of updated indicators with a view to agile discovery of solutions to any problem points.

Our anesthesiologists participated in a working hours trial where an 18-hour shift on call at the hospital is offset by having the previous day off.

Towards the end of the year, we prepared for 2022, when we will begin to manage operating rooms on a region-wide basis in order to secure patient equality and cost-effectiveness. At the same time, we will be dividing our operating rooms into three administrative divisions because of the extent of our operations.