Providing anesthesia safely and efficiently is an important step in any surgery, where anesthesia is required. Improving the efficiency of anesthesia starts before, during and after surgery. Having an anesthesia service that runs smoothly can streamline procedures in the operating room, cutting back on cancellations, patient recovery time and improving the use of operating rooms. Here are 5 techniques to improve anesthesia service efficiency and safety.
1. Maximizing Operating Room staff efficiency
In the U.S anesthesia is normally administered by an anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Anesthesiologists are physicians, they must complete four years of undergraduate studies, four years in medical school and 3 to four years in a residential program. CRNAs are required to have an undergrad degree, they must become a registered nurse, have one year of critical care experience and then complete a CRNA degree. CRNAs and anesthesiologists are both able to administer anesthesia, and in a study performed by Health Affairs, their researches found no increase in the number of deaths or complications in patients who were administered anesthesia by a CRNA. 15 states (currently 17) are already allowing CRNAs to administer anesthesia without supervision. For the 17 states that have overturned the law against requiring CRNA supervision using CRNA to maximize operating room efficiency is a must. Patient wait time and anxiety can be greatly reduced by using staff more efficiently.
2. Ensure patients are ready
Having medical supplies prepared at the beginning of the day can accelerate operating room turnover overtimes, and Reviewing patient paperwork the day before can shrink the number of cancellations and decrease pre-operation time.
3. Using pain management services
using Multimodal Analgesia methods can reduce patient discomfort post-operation. Combining local anesthesia with multimodal Analgesia methods can reduce toxicity due to local anesthesia. Combining multimodal Analgesia methods and local anesthesia lowers the amount of local anesthesia required. Using opioids in conjunction with an adjuvant drug can extend the effects of the opioids. Opioids are known to produce negative symptoms such as nausea, drowsiness and slow breathing, Lowering the dose of opioids can increase patient comfort. Utilizing Multimodal Analgesia methods can greatly increase patient comfort post-op and reduce the need for additional care.
4. Preventing nausea before post-vare
A patient that is more likely to experience nausea post-operation should be pre-medicate for nausea. Non-smokers, women, motion sickness sufferers, and patients taking opioids after surgery are more likely to suffer from vomiting and nausea afterwards. Administering fluid therapy and anti-nausea medications like Zofran pre-surgery can reduce nausea and vomiting for high-risk patients.
5. Better communication
Poor communication between operating room staff can lead to poor efficiency and a potentially poor experience for patients. A properly planned surgery can reduce the amount of time a patient is required to be on a ventilator due to the improper spacing of anesthesia doses. The surgeon and anesthesia staff should communicate about scheduling, to figure out how much time will be required for each surgery. Surgeries that are properly spaced out can reduce patient anxiety and maximize staff efficiency. Patients should understand pre-surgery requirements such as what to expect from the procedure and information about when they can eat or drink.
Utilizing staff better, preparing patients properly and increasing communication between operating room staff, are a few of the ways that patient and staff experience can be improved during the anesthesia process.