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Emergency surgery taking place at the operating room in a hospital supported by AI-driven technology from Sumo Analytics

Most organisations strive to understand the future in order to plan operations better. Those who do not will always be reactive to every operational challenge, instead of being proactive through better planning. Hospitals are more often than not purely reactive in their approach, as predicting demand within healthcare is a tremendous challenge.

The challenges hospitals deal with lie within every step of the patient flow; from Emergency Department (ED) visits, admission, surgical emergencies, estimating the length of stay, assessing the risk of readmission during discharge etc.

Sumo Analytics has developed technology based on advanced artificial intelligence that helps hospitals become more proactive in planning their operations. For instance, our AI-driven forecast platform accurately forecasts the number of emergency surgeries and predicts the duration of surgical procedures, allowing for optimised planning and organisational excellence within the Operating Room Department.

An average-sized Spanish hospital was dealing with organisational challenges within its Operating Room Department and realised that Sumo Analytics’ advanced AI solutions could help.

The Challenge

The Operating Room Department (OR) had constant challenges in planning the nursing schedule weeks in advance when it was not known how many patients would require surgery. Demand for both elective and emergency surgeries is primarily driven by patient needs, but also physician constraints to some degree, as well as weekly/seasonal variations.

With significant fluctuations in emergency surgeries, operational planning within the OR has been an impossible challenge. Furthermore, last-minute cancellations of elective surgeries have also put ORs to poor use with much lower case volume than what would be expected.

Moreover, around 65% of the total hospital cost is directly related to staff, which makes nurses one of the most critical organisational resources. But incompetently planned nurse work schedules often led to costly adjustments within the OR as the management was constantly reacting to emergency surgery fluctuations.

The Solution

Sumo Analytics implemented a holistic analytics approach, utilising advanced AI-driven prediction- and forecast models, using historical data from both the Emergency- and Operating Room Departments.

Both elective and emergency surgeries were forecasted, giving the OR a superior clarity of future surgery demand. The models took into account patients arriving directly from the ED as well as from inpatient units at any given time.

In order to better understand the real-time level of emergency surgeries, an ED prediction model was generated to identify what ED visitors were likely in need of surgery at any given moment, informing the OR immediately of potential surgical emergencies.

Both case volume and case minutes were forecasted, giving unprecedented forecast accuracy of case-loads and times. But individual surgery times were also predicted, giving the OR management an even better understanding of case minutes for each and every surgery.

In order to tackle elective surgery cancellations, a model was built to predict weeks in advance with unprecedented accuracy which elective surgeries are likely to be cancelled, automatically confirming block time usage.

All forecasts, along with a selection of KPIs, are displayed in a dynamic real-time automation platform that’s constantly observed on dedicated monitors in ED and OR control rooms.

The Benefits

Operational planning has improved tremendously where the hospital uses the separation in elective and emergency surgeries to assist in scheduling elective surgeries in order to balance workload.

Nurse scheduling has been optimised and costly day-of-surgery adjustments significantly reduced. As a result, case volume has seen a major increase and OR utilisation has significantly improved. Last-minute cancellations have also dramatically decreased, as the solutions gives the OR management enough time to fill the empty blocks with any available cases.


Sumo Analytics pioneers innovations and developments in advanced prediction science based on AI, and delivers unprecedented levels of accuracy. It may feel daunting, but adopting advanced AI for operational excellence in hospitals is not so hard with the right approach.


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