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Healthcare Insights

Number of hospital operating rooms by U.S. region

Hospital operating rooms (ORs) play a crucial role in modern healthcare by providing a controlled environment for a wide range of surgical interventions, ranging from routine procedures such as appendectomies to complex surgeries like organ transplants. They are essential components of healthcare systems, facilitating medical interventions that improve patient outcomes and quality of life.

Hospital ORs can vary in type, including hybrid, integrated, and digital. Additionally, the number and size of ORs vary depending on the hospital's needs. With data from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product, we’ve created a list of the number of hospital operating rooms across the U.S.

Number of hospital ORs and the average number of ORs per hospital by U.S. region

U.S. regionNumber of hospital ORsAverage number of ORs per hospitalExplore dataset
U.S. territories3486Explore

Fig. 1. Data is from the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product and is aggregated from the most recent 12-month interval tracked in our database. Accessed in April 2024.

Which region has the most operating rooms?

The Southeast region has the greatest number of hospital operating rooms in the U.S. With more than 10,600 hospital ORs, the Southeast accounts for 27% of hospital ORs in the country. Hospitals in the Southeast have eight ORs per hospital, on average.

In second place is the Midwest region with over 9,940 hospital ORs, accounting for 26% of ORs. Hospitals in the Midwest have six ORs per hospital, on average.

The Northeast region comes in third place with 6,875 hospital operating rooms and an average of 10 ORs per hospital. This region makes up 18% of hospital ORs in the U.S.

Our data shows that most patients tend to seek surgical care in the regions in which they reside. Since the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast are among the most populous regions in the U.S., hospitals in these regions may have more ORs to accommodate the needs of their larger patient populations.

How many operating rooms are in a hospital?

There are more than 38,600 operating rooms across hospitals in the U.S., with an average of 7.7 ORs per hospital. Large academic medical centers and tertiary care hospitals typically have a higher number of ORs to accommodate a diverse range of surgical specialties and complex procedures. In contrast, smaller community hospitals may have fewer ORs, focusing on routine surgeries. Find out which hospitals perform the most surgeries in this Healthcare Insight.

What is in an operating room?

An operating room is a specialized facility within a hospital where surgical procedures are performed. It's a controlled environment designed to minimize the risk of infection and maximize patient safety during surgery. Operating rooms are equipped with advanced medical technology, including surgical instruments, anesthesia delivery systems, and monitoring equipment, to support surgical teams in providing care to patients. The layout often includes the following key components:

  • Operating table: The central fixture where the patient lies during surgery. Operating tables are designed to be adjustable to accommodate various surgical positions and procedures.
  • Surgical lights: Bright, focused lighting fixtures positioned above the operating table to illuminate the surgical field.
  • Medical equipment: ORs are equipped with a wide array of specialized surgical instruments, anesthesia delivery systems, and monitoring devices. This equipment may include surgical tools, anesthesia machines, ventilators, monitors for vital signs, and imaging devices.
  • Sterile supplies: OR staff meticulously prepare sterile surgical instruments, drapes, and other supplies before each procedure to minimize the risk of infection.

Some hospitals have specialized ORs tailored to specific types of surgeries or advanced procedures. For example, hybrid ORs combine traditional surgical capabilities with advanced imaging technology, such as CT scans or fluoroscopy, allowing surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures with real-time imaging guidance.

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