AORN Releases Survey Results Exploring ORs’ Return to Pre-COVID-19 Surgical Volumes


The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) announced survey results of more than 1,000 surgical nurse leaders in the United States regarding how their facilities are managing the resumption of elective surgeries.

Key Findings

  • The top three specialties ramping up in volume are: general, ortho non-joint, and urology. Current case volumes are lowest for transplants, plastics, ophthalmology and ENT.
  • Patient fear continues to drive a high volume of canceled surgeries. Over half of respondents say that up to 40% of patients have canceled elective surgeries.
  • ASCs have the lowest rate of patient cancellations, followed by hospitals and academic medical centers.
  • 93% of respondents listed a target date of when they will return to pre-COVID-19 surgical volumes.
  • Among the several key constraints noted by respondents, COVID-19 testing is often cited because it can take 24 to 48 hours for results.

The survey results are intended to help medical device manufacturers understand their customers’ pace and product needs as ORs ramp up their efforts to return to full surgical volume. With this information, industry can plan their manufacturing of supplies to support budget assumptions and accurately focus their business resources.


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