How to Improve Your Anesthesia Department Workflow

Inefficiency tends to breed dissatisfaction. This is true for any business that deals with customers, but it also holds true when it comes to hospitals. Often times, patients have to wait a long time in the pre-operative area, and sometimes the recovery room is not ready for the patients after the operation. Inefficiency can breed dissatisfaction among the staff as well. The anesthesiology department is position to help improve communication and is very important when it comes to the OR’s efficiency. If the anesthesiology department is at peak performance then everyone wins, as it can improve pre-operative and post-operative care and also reduce turnover time.

There is more and more research available in regards to the efficiency of anesthesia and what happens to the brain when under it, so anesthetists play a crucial role in patient care, but at the same time they also play an important role in the performance of the whole OR department. In order for the OR department to run smoother, the anesthesia department has to improve its workflow. The best way to for the anesthesia department to stay on top of things is by communicating with the operating room team, the surgical team, and also the patients. As an anesthetist, you need to know when the surgery is going to take place, how long it will take, and when it’s expected to finish. Communication will help prevent the anesthesia team from re-dosing the patient if the surgery is close to the end, which in turn would that there will be more time required on a ventilator. The key factor is timing.

As an anesthetist, you will also have to schedule smart if you want to help improve the department’s workflow. The booked time for a procedure needs to be enough and to maximize the use of the operating room. This will prevent patients and surgeons from waiting until the previous procedures are complete, which would make the patient anxious. Poor scheduling could also result in an empty OR, which shows a lack of efficiency. You will also have to consider standardizing as much as it’s possible. Every case is different, but there are some aspects that can be standardized, for example types of anesthetic used or surgery protocols.

The underlying factor is communication with all the people that are involved in the process. If the staff is not prepared to deal with the unexpected and procedures are not mapped out properly then that’s when the inefficiency settles in. Having things planned ahead and keeping everyone posted can result in the anesthesia department increasing the efficiency and thus decreasing the turnover time, which would lead to an increase in patient satisfaction and thus an increase in hospital revenues.