Session Planner – Data Driven Ops

November 14, 2018 • Reading time 2 minutes

Short summary:

Working with a large acute London Trust, we have developed a software to help develop and refine their new theatre schedule. This is needed as the Trust is in the process of a large capital project that will create a new theatre complex and allow the consolidation of specialties, which are currently spread across several sites. It is important that movements in the schedule maximise the use of the new theatres, but don’t result in a lack of resources, such as critical care or ward beds, that impact on patient flow.

To do this, we developed Session Planner. This gives management the ability to look and test, different operating schedules and test them on a range of criteria (use of ward beds, etc), using advanced simulation modelling.

Session Planner sits alongside Space Finder – our theatre booking software that helps managers maximise their use of operating lists.


Given the large number of stakeholders and shifting constraints around available space, it was necessary to frequently update the theatre schedule and test a range of different options. Each of these updates and options needed to be assessed on several criteria, including whether the proposals would fit into available space and/or create too much demand on fixed assets, such as beds.

What Edge Health did:

Edge built Session Planner – a software that allows schedule proposals to be quickly simulated and tested. The software allows the theatre manager to assess different options in seconds. Key features that help track these changes are the ability to modify operating lists and the LoS of operations for specific surgeons.

Operating theatres are a constantly changing environment, with surgeons coming and going, operating skills improving and recovery times changing. Session planner is capable of producing rapid results whilst also allowing fine control over assumptions and input data.

Results & Next steps:

Session Planner is now being used to help plan the theatre schedule that will go live once the new development is finished.

What we learned:

Working closely with the end user is a key factor in keeping in line with their needs and making sure these are aligned to the outputs.

Want to know more about how you can implement Session Planner in your hospital? Get in touch!


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.