Dr Latif Al-Hakim hopes his studies will lead to reduced theatre waiting times at Toowoomba Hospital.
Dr Latif Al-Hakim hopes his studies will lead to reduced theatre waiting times at Toowoomba Hospital.

Dr to cut surgical waiting lists

ENGINEERING academic Latif Al-Hakim hopes to cut surgical waiting lists by applying his knowledge to hospital operating rooms.

Dr Al-Hakim has overseen more than 100 surgical procedures in Chinese, Thai and Australian hospitals, including Toowoomba Hospital, as part of his research into maximising efficiency and minimising operating room disruptions.

His work last year earned him the position of honorary senior lecturer in the division of surgery at the Imperial College of London.

It has also earned him an invitation to Thailand next month to impart his findings to staff at Bangkok Hospital and 27 smaller hospitals in the country.

The University of Southern Queensland-based human engineering specialist said simple changes to the way in which surgical procedures were carried out could result in operating time reductions of at least 25%.

"Toowoomba Hospital is one of the best at dealing with disruptions inside the operating theatre," he said.

Dr Al-Hakim said disruptions he had witnessed at some hospitals included having to source additional equipment during surgery, inefficient ways of storing equipment and not having the operating table set at the correct height.

He said he hoped the implementation of his streamlining methods in Thailand would eventually filter through to Australian operating rooms.


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