5 Tips for Improving Anesthesia Efficiency

Anesthesia professionals face unprecedented challenges in improving efficiency while providing better patient care. The basic idea behind accomplishing an efficient surgical procedure is the strength of your anesthesia program and team. Essentially, having a properly-functioning anesthesia program will enhance processes in your operating rooms, ensure the quality of metrics, and improve coordination and leadership for your perioperative program. Also, it will boost the overall success of your healthcare facility. That said, here are five tips to help improve your anesthesia efficiency.

Start surgical procedures on time

Time is an essential resource. Ensure you start surgical procedures on time, each time. This will help you stick to your OR schedule and create a balanced day. For instance, if your hospital has six surgeries scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. and three of them start on time, but the rest start at 8:00 or 8:45, those delays can cause significant problems that may not be recoverable.

Furthermore, that could delay the doctors performing those surgical procedures from attending to other patients in the office. That could also cause delays in other surgical cases, which could have otherwise been on time. The result is frustrated physicians and additional overtime expenses for the facility, potentially affecting patient satisfaction scores.

Professional Communication

Proper communication is the key to any successful process. A well-planned surgery will lessen the time a patient spends on a ventilator, saving time and resources. On the contrary, poor communication between the anesthesia staff and surgeons can significantly reduce OR efficiency and negatively impact your patient experience. There is a need for the entire operating team to communicate efficiently about scheduling and establish how much time is needed for each surgery. Properly planned surgeries can maximize staff efficiency and reduce patient anxiety.

Prevent Nausea before and After Operation

Another great way to facilitate a successful surgical procedure is to ensure patients are ready. Prepare medical supplies and review patient paperwork earlier to accelerate OR turnover time and reduce the possibilities of cancellations. Additionally, patients with a high likelihood of experiencing post-operation nausea should be medicated for nausea. Motion sickness sufferers, non-smokers, women, and individuals taking opioids are more likely to suffer from nausea and vomiting afterwards.

Review Pre-operative Test Processes

Transparency, clear communication, and coordination are all critical factors to achieving an efficient process. Every surgical department should have consultations and pre-operative testing done about a day before scheduling a surgery. Reviewing the pre-operative processes will create a sense of ownership for the operating team for controlling the pre-assessment process frequently and on time to avoid unnecessary delays. It will also help the surgical team know that the patients are ready for the surgery – that is, they have the cardiac and medical clearances for the procedure. Typically, pre-admission testing procedures should be completed at least 72 hours prior to surgery and focus on patient optimization and reducing the chances of cancellations or delays.

Integrate Pain Management

Anesthesiologists often undergo extensive pain management training. Thus, your anesthesia program should be able to handle chronic and acute pain. Having a hospital-based pain management program can help integrate your functions and improve efficiency and coordination in the OR. For that matter, you can use pain management services like Multimodal Analgesia techniques to minimize patient pain and discomfort after the operation.

Integrating Multimodal Analgesia methods into your local anesthesia programs can reduce the level of toxicity in the local anesthesia and lower the amount of anesthesia required. For example, you can use opioids along with an adjuvant medication to manage the effects of opioids. The use of opioids often produces intensive symptoms like drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and slow breathing, so reducing the dose can help enhance patient comfort.