Reducing Operating Room Cost: Comparing Attending and Surgical Trainee Perceptions About the Implementation of Supply Receipts

Bradley S. Kushner, Bruce Hall, Andrew Pierce, Jessica Mody, Rebecca M. Guth, Jackie Martin, Jeffrey A. Blatnik, Shaina R. Eckhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: As operating room (OR) expenditures increase, faculty and surgical trainees will play a key role in curbing future costs. However, supply cost utilization varies widely among providers and, despite requirements for cost education during surgical training, little is known about trainees' comfort discussing these topics. To improve OR cost transparency, our institution began delivering real-time supply “receipts” to faculty and trainees after each surgical case. This study compares faculty and surgical trainees' perceptions about supply receipts and their effect on individual practice and cultural change. Study Design: Faculty and surgical trainees (residents and fellows) from all adult surgical specialties at a large academic center were emailed separate surveys. Results: A total of 120 faculty (30.0% response rate) and 119 trainees (35.7% response rate) completed the survey. Compared with trainees, faculty are more confident discussing OR costs (p < 0.001). Two-thirds of trainees report discussing OR costs with faculty as opposed to 77.0% of faculty who acknowledge having these conversations (p = 0.08). Both groups showed a strong commitment to reduce OR expenditures, with 87.3% of faculty and 90.0% of trainees expressing a responsibility to curb OR costs (p = 0.84). After 1 year of implementation, faculty continue to have high interest levels in supply receipts (82.4%) and many surgeons review them after each case (67.7%). In addition, 74.3% of faculty are now aware of how to lower OR costs and 52.5% have changed the OR supplies they use. Trainees, in particular, desire additional cost-reducing efforts at our institution (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Supply receipts have been well received and have led to meaningful cultural changes. However, trainees are less confident discussing these issues and desire a greater emphasis on OR cost in their curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-721
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


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