Improving theatre productivity with machine learning – “Space Finder”

September 20, 2017 • Reading time 1 minute

A major tertiary hospital was faced with the challenge of rising waiting times for orthopaedic surgery. Edge Health worked with them tackle this.

Our analysis found that theatre utilisation was below 75%, partly due to an ineffective scheduling process that often under/over booked session lists. Deploying our artificial intelligence solution onto the hospital systems, we linked and interpreted key data (including from doctor’s notes) to dramatically simplify theatre scheduling and make the best use of available capacity.

During the initial roll-out of our approach, the trust saw a 3% month-on-month increase in theatre productivity and two surgeons saw session utilisation increase by 20%. When we fully rolled-out our solution, the trust saw 40 cases added per week on average, translating into an additional £100k of extra activity per week.


Space Finder is our artificial intelligence solution to help operating lists run more efficiently. Using predictive analytics, Space Finder creates optimal operating lists tailored to the surgeon, the patient and the operation. It monitors lists and alerts staff to under or over-runs before they happen. It can also identify specific cases that can be added to lists to ensure the full use of capacity. It learns and improves on its own with continued use.

Edge Health

Edge Health are a specialist UK healthcare analytics consultancy that use data and insights to improve the delivery of health and care services, so that better outcomes can be delivered more efficiently.