Enabling NHS Trusts to make better use of their operating theatres through data analytics and artificial intelligence

ATOM is a patient and clinician centric way to achieve optimal operating theatre performance.

The Challenge

Rising demand of elective care surgeries with a limited number of operating theatres and resource is increasing the capacity pressure on Trusts in the UK.

Patients should expect the best healthcare in a safe, efficient and effective manner. But against the backdrop of continuing financial challenges, clinicians and hospital administrators are under ever-increasing pressure from rising demand for elective surgery, the availability of beds and workforce challenges. Trusts more than ever need to use their existing facilities and workforce as effectively and efficiently as possible if they are to continue to meet the needs of their patients.

Key priorities:

  • Finding cost-efficient solution tailored to individual operating theatres;
  • Deploying solutions without adding new complexity to staff systems;
  • Avoiding overbooking operating theatres; and
  • Maximise staff retention by removing friction from the scheduling process.

The Impact in the UK

NHSI’s 2019 National Theatres Productivity report identified an opportunity to undertake over 290,000 additional procedures per year, across the 92 participating Trusts. This is an opportunity of an additional 2.5 theatres of capacity per Trust, on average. The growing pressure on theatre capacity has been exacerbated by constraints on funding and an increasingly difficult recruitment landscape, resulting in growing waiting lists and an increasing reliance on high-cost out-of-hours work.

How Deloitte can help

Deloitte is introducing ATOM to help Trusts transform operating theatre efficiencies through a workforce-led approach.

ATOM delivers a theatres scheduling solution that enables the identification of the scale, location and type of opportunities available to Trusts through the optimisation of theatre lists. Using artificial intelligence, ATOM reads surgeons’ free text notes and translates them into procedures combined with complexity and comorbidities to generate highly accurate operating times that are used to build optimal theatre schedules and/or timetables. The scheduling assistant then provides theatres staff with a simple method, to schedule each day that is configured to allow for all of the necessary tasks and prevent cancellations due to overbooking and early finishes. The ATOM approach typically delivers:

  • Increased patient numbers per session;
  • Reduction in number and duration of theatre session over-runs;
  • Reduction in the number of cancelled operations on the day;
  • Improved working relationships between staff;
  • Raised staff morale; and
  • Reduction in the variation of finishing times.

Key contacts

Sara Siegel

Sara Siegel


Sara is the Lead Client Service Partner (LCSP) for the health account in the UK and across North and South Europe. She has worked with the NHS and healthcare clients for the last 20 years in the UK an... More

Tony King

Tony King


Tony is a Partner who leads the Firm’s Health Analytics Practice. He has fifteen years’ experience of data analytics and data governance across the NHS, supporting them to become data driven in their ... More