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Archive Ambulatory Anesthesia 2015

Does Your Anesthesia Service Make the Grade?

Look for these qualities at the head of the OR table.

Carrie Frederick, MD


anesthesia providers TEAM WORKS Anesthesia providers should do much more than sedate patients.

Your facility's anesthesia service affects everyone in the perioperative process. Don't believe me? Hire a provider who only works inpatient cases while your usual guy is away and see who complains. In anesthesia staffing, the right fit is everything. When you look at your providers, how many of these statements can you agree with?

They're ambulatory aces
Are your providers skilled in regional blocks and opioid-sparing multimodal analgesic approaches? Do they seek out the latest techniques to stay on the cutting edge of care, or are they rigid in their routines? Ask your circulators and PACU nurses (or those of the hospitals or ASCs where a service has worked) which providers' patients wake the fastest after surgery and whose patients' pain seemed most under control. Those are sure signs that a provider understands ambulatory efficiency.

They're team players
With the concept of the perioperative surgical home (see "A New Way to Manage Post-op Pain" on p. 7), the anesthesia community has grasped the idea that teamwork matters. Do your providers understand that their performance affects every other person on the team, that their role is no more and no less critical than that of every other player? Do they leave their egos at home? Here's an enlightening question to ask an anesthesia provider: In what way does the circulator or tech help you do your job better? (Also, how do you help them do their jobs better?) If he doesn't have an answer, he may not be looking beyond their own patient care silo.

They help you stay on track
Anesthesia providers have many ways to help ensure on-time starts and swift room turnovers. For example, regional blocks are best administered outside the OR, before the team is ready to begin a case. Providers who vigilantly monitor anesthesia levels toward the end of a procedure can help patients mobilize faster. And the true team players don't think it's beneath them to lend nurses and techs a hand by wiping down tables, drawing up local anesthetics for the next case or transporting patents to the PACU.

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