How to Eliminate Cord Chaos & Contamination in the OR, Part 3: Reduce Costs with Cord Management

Author: By Domico Med-Device on October 31, 2023
Duration: 2 min(s)

How to Eliminate Cord Chaos & Contamination in the OR, Part 3: Reduce Costs with Cord Management


This is the final installment in a 3-part series on strategic cord management in the operating room. Part 1 offered an overview of the safety risks of poor cord management. Part 2 discussed how cord management increases efficiency. In Part 3, we’ll explain how cord management reduces costs.

Strategic cord management not only improves patient and caregiver safety while increasing operating room efficiency, but it can also save patients and hospitals money. Here’s how.

How Cord Management Reduces OR Costs

Strategic cord management saves money by reducing surgical time, eliminating broken tools and cords, speeding set up and turnover time, and decreasing infection risk.

1. Reduced Surgical Time

Surgeries get delayed when metal clamps tear PT drapes or tools and cords leave the sterile field and need to be replaced. In fact, falling instruments add an average of 7.6 minutes to each surgery. Considering the average orthopedic procedure costs $60 to $100 per minute, that amounts to an additional cost of $456 to $760 per surgery.

Surgical delays also increase anesthesia time, which is typically billed at one unit cost every 15 minutes. Replacing an entire sterile field, including cords and tools, can cost hospitals and patients thousands of dollars.

2. Fewer Contaminated Cords and Tool Replacements

Replacing contaminated cords and tools is expensive. For example, a single burner can cost $130. Strategic cord management keeps cords organized, reducing opportunities for damage, and prevents tools from falling out of the sterile field, eliminating the need to replace them during surgery.

3. Quicker Set Up and Turnover

Proper cord management prevents tangles and enables techs to quickly set up, tear down, and clean up between procedures. This reduces downtime and allows hospitals to serve more patients and schedule more surgeries – eliminating waste and increasing revenue.

4. Decreased Infection Risk

Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) account for 20% of all healthcare-associated infections, costing hospitals an estimated $3.3 billion annually. SSIs also extend hospital stays by an average of 9.7 days, increasing the cost of hospitalization by more than $20,000 due to infections.

By decreasing the risk of SSIs, strategic cord management can reduce hospital stays, help hospitals avoid potential liabilities and lawsuits, and save both hospitals and patients money.

Next Step

Consider your cord management practices. Are they standardized? Do caregivers use towels, metal clamps, or other “solutions” to manage cords? Are cords a chaotic mess during surgery? Is poor cord management a potential liability for patients, caregivers, and your organization?

Once you’ve evaluated your current practices, identify opportunities to improve patient and caregiver safety, conduct more efficient surgeries, and reduce OR costs via strategic cord management.