How many operating rooms are present in the US?

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How many operating rooms are present in the US?

As of 2016, there are approximately 224,720 operating rooms in the United States, of which 16,545 are in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). Although there is no pre-compiled information for these statistics, I was able to use available data to triangulate the total. You will find my methodology below.

Methodology

To triangulate the total number of operating rooms in the United States, I needed to use available data on integrated versus non-integrated operating rooms. Integrated operating rooms are those that have diagnostic equipment like MRI machines in the operating room that can be used "before and during surgery directly on the patients without moving them from the operating table." The trend is for more operating rooms to include this technology as it reduces "patient risks to a minimum," particularly those undergoing neurosurgery.

In 2016, iDataResearch showed there were 60,000 operating rooms and approximately 20,000 integrated operating rooms in the United States. A 2014 report from the same company indicated that integrated operating rooms represented 23% of the total number of operating rooms in the United States in 2013. The study also forecasts the percentage of integrated operating rooms to increase to 31% by 2019. This data means that in 2013, 77% of operating rooms were non-integrated (100 – 23 = 77), a number that would decline to 69% (100 – 31 = 69) by 2019. The data in the report allows us to calculate the compound average growth rate (CAGR) of integrated and non-integrated operating rooms from 2013 to 2019. Using a growth rate calculator, I determined the CAGR for this period to be 5.10%

Using the CAGR, I could then calculate the percentage of integrated operating rooms for each year from 2013 to 2019 as follows:

2013: 23%
2014: 24.2% (23 x 0.051 = 1.2, 23 + 1.2 = 24.2)
2015: 25.4% (24.2 x 0.051 = 1.2, 24.2 + 1.2 = 25.4)
2016: 26.7% (25.4 x 0.051 = 1.3, 25.4 + 1.3 = 26.7)
2017: 28.1% (26.7 x 0.051 = 1.4, 26.7 + 1.4 = 28.1)
2018: 29.5% (28.1 x 0.051 = 1.4, 28.1 + 1.4 = 29.5)
2019: 31.0% (29.5 x 0.051 = 1.5, 29.5 + 1.5 = 31.0)

For the purposes of this brief, we will focus on the 2016 percentage because the latest data available for the number of integrated operating rooms in existence is from 2016, so we will only be able to calculate an estimated total number of operating rooms for that year.

Based on the above calculations, in 2016, 60,000 integrated operating rooms represents 26.7% of the total number of operating rooms in the United States. As such, we can divide 60,000 by 0.267 to get 224,720, which would be the estimated total number of operating rooms in the United States, 164,720 of which would be non-integrated (224,720 – 60,000 = 164,720).

Ambulatory operating rooms

According to a 2017 Medicare Ambulatory Surgical Center Services Report to the Congress, the average number of operating rooms per ASC is 3.0. This same report indicates there were 4,680 ASCs in the United States. This means that we can estimate the total number of operating rooms that were in ASCs in 2015 was 14,040 (4,680 x 3). However, a more recent source, Advancing Surgical Care, shows that currently, there are 5,515 ASCs in the United States (not including the 23 in Puerto Rico). As the average number of operating rooms per ASC has not changed significantly since 2008, we can estimate that the total number of operating rooms in ASCs in the United States to be 16,545 (5,515 x 3).

Using this calculation and the triangulated number of total operating rooms in the United States (224,720), we can also say that the estimated number of operating rooms in hospitals is 208,175 (224,720 – 16,545).

Therefore, 7% (16,545 / 224,720) of the operating rooms in the United States are in ASCs, while 93% (100 – 7) are found in hospitals.

Other data that might be of interest to you include:

1. The total number of hospitals in the United States as of 2017 is 5,064. Using the estimated total number of operating rooms in the United States (224,720), we can say that the estimated average number of operating rooms per hospital is 44 (224,720 / 5,064). This would account for the largest hospitals, like the Cleveland Clinic, which has 85 operating rooms, and the smallest hospitals, like Blessing Hospital, which has only 10 operating rooms.

2. According to the American Hospital Association and Statista, the number of hospitals in the United States has not changed in two years. Therefore, we can assume the number of operating rooms has remained steady as well. Certainly, new hospitals have opened in that time, but others have closed. Similarly, while some hospitals have opened new integrated operating room, others have likely shut down non-integrated rooms. Using these assumptions and the calculations from the methodology section, we can make some predictions of how many integrated versus non-integrated operating rooms there will be through 2019.

2016: 60,000 integrated, 164,720 non-integrated
2017: 63,146 integrated (224,720 x 0.281), 161,574 non-integrated (224,720 – 63,146)
2018: 66,292 integrated (224,720 x 0.295), 158,428 non-integrated (224,720 – 66,292)
2019: 69,663 integrated (224,720 x 0.31), 155,057 non-integrated (224,720 – 69,663)

Conclusion

There are approximately 224,720 total operating rooms in the United States. Of these, about 60,000 are integrated and 164,720 are non-integrated. In addition, approximately 16,545 of the total operating rooms in the U.S. are located in ambulatory surgical centers.

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