5 Ways to Improve Anesthesia Workflow

Regardless of size, everyone benefits from hospital efficiency. However, a lot of patients end up waiting too long within the preoperative area.

In some cases, the recovery room isn’t even prepared for the patient after their procedure. Even though some preoperative testing is necessary for any kind of surgery, too much of it can cause more harm than good.

Continue reading to learn five ways to improve anesthesia workflow.

Get Rid of Any Unnecessary Testing

Unfortunately, some surgeons still embrace the idea that all patients need extensive testing prior their operation. while this holds true for some, it isn’t the case for every patient. Some patients with special needs will require more testing than others.

For some people, such as a professional athlete who requires joint surgery may only need an EKG and routine blood workup as opposed to a battery of tests completely unrelated to the surgical procedure.

Review Test Results and Patient Data Ahead of Time

Regardless of what procedure the patient is having performed, always make sure that you take a look at their test results and data beforehand. It’s recommended that you review the patient’s information at least one day prior to the surgery. Upon reviewing the patient’s results, the surgical team will have the clearance to perform the surgery.

Socialize With the Patients and Surgical Team

Socializing is actually the best way to improve efficiency for the anesthesia department. It gives them the information they need such as when the operation will take place, how long the surgery is expected to last and any presurgical considerations they need to know. Furthermore, the anesthesia team reduces the chance of over-anesthetizing a patient or using the wrong type of anesthetic agent.

Plan Accordingly

Many hospitals tend to horizontally book surgeries, booking every operating room yet not using the effectively. Having an empty operating room greatly interrupts the workflow and does nothing in the way of optimizing a surgeon’s time. Try scheduling OR appointments into vertical blocks in order to make sure that there is enough time for the operation. Following the block scheduling method also prevents the surgeons and patients from waiting for another operation to finish.

Reconfiguring the Hospital

In rare cases, the overall layout of the hospital may cause some inefficiencies during the surgical process. For example, the recovery room is a few floors down from the operating room. Due to this, it will take longer for the staff to transport the patient through the hospital.

Furthermore, having an unorganized layout also takes the anesthesiologist longer to get to the operating area. You can smooth out the workflow by putting the recovery room and the preoperative room closer to the recovery room.

It’s very important that the anesthesia workflow runs smoothly and is maintained. An anesthesiologist has a very important job, so much so that they hold more of a person’s life in their hands than most surgeons.