Description of local adaptation of national guidelines and of active feedback for rationalising preoperative screening in patients at low risk from anaesthetics in a French university hospital.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the effect of local adaptation of national guidelines combined with active feedback and organisational analysis on the ordering of preoperative investigations for patients at low risk from anaesthetics. DESIGN: Assessment of preoperative tests ordered over one month, before and after local adaptation of guidelines and feedback of results, combined with an organisational analysis. SETTING: Motivated anaesthetists in 15 surgical wards of Bordeaux University Hospital, Region Aquitain, France. SUBJECTS: 42 anaesthetists, 60 surgeons, and their teams. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number and type of preoperative tests ordered in June 1993 and 1994, and the estimated savings. RESULTS: Of 536 patients at low risk from anaesthetics studied in 1993 before the intervention 80% had at least one preoperative test. Most (70%) tests were ordered by anaesthetists. Twice the number of preoperative tests were ordered than recommended by national guidelines. Organisational analysis indicated lack of organised consultations and communication within teams. Changes implemented included scheduling of anaesthetic consultations; regular formal multidisciplinary meetings for all staff; preoperative ordering decision charts. Of 516 low risk patients studied in 1994 after the intervention only 48% had one or more preoperative tests ordered (p < 0.05). Estimated mean (SD) saving for one year if changes were applied to all patients at low risk from anaesthesia in the hospital 3.04 (1.23) mFF. CONCLUSIONS: A sharp decrease in tests ordered in low risk patients was found. The likely cause was the package of changes that included local adaptation of national guidelines, feedback, and organisational change. (+info)
Evaluation of an anesthesiology department newsletter.
The West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology has distributed a weekly newsletter to department members for several years. A recent survey and discussion among members found the newsletter to be useful and important in shaping the culture of the department and marketing it. A weekly format of three to five pages was judged best. News about anesthesiology, department policies, and practice management information were most valued. (+info)
Microenterprise in health care and health education.
Over the last decade, development aid has increasingly used a more collaborative model, with donors and recipients both contributing ideas, methods and goals. Though many examples of collateral aid projects exist in agriculture, business administration and banking, few have found their way into health care and health education, a typically donor-dominated model. The following case report describes a collateral project in health care education. This case report analyzes data-inducing project proposals, personal interviews and project reports obtained through standard archival research methods. The setting for this joint project was the collaboration between international nongovernmental (NGO) aid foundations and the faculty of a major sub-Saharan African Medical School's Department of Anesthesia. The initial goal of this project was to improve record keeping for all anesthetic records, both in the operating theatres and outside. Analysis of the data was performed using ethnographic methods of constant comparative analysis. The purpose of the analysis was to critically evaluate both the goals and their results in the Department of Anesthesiology. The findings of this analysis suggested that results included not only quality assurance and improvement programs in the department but also advances in the use of critical incidents as teaching tools, hospital-wide drug and equipment utilization information and the initiation of an outreach program to district hospitals throughout the country for similar projects. (+info)
How much labor is in a labor epidural? Manpower cost and reimbursement for an obstetric analgesia service in a teaching institution.
BACKGROUND: Some anesthesiologists avoid provision of obstetric analgesia services (OAS) because of low reimbursement rates for the work involved. This study defines the manpower costs of operating an OAS in a tertiary referral center and examines reimbursement for this cost. METHODS: The time spent providing OAS in a total of 55 parturients was studied prospectively using a modification of classic time and motion studies. RESULTS: Mean duration of OAS in our population was 412 +/- 313 min. Mean bedside anesthesia staff time was 90 +/- 40 min, and mean number of visits to each patient's bedside was 6.3 +/- 2.0 visits. Assuming staffing on demand for service (intermittent staffing), a minimum of 2.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) attending anesthesiologists was required to meet demand. With intermittent staffing, labor cost was $325 per patient. Actual practice at Duke University Medical Center is around-the-clock (dedicated) staffing, which requires 4.4 FTEs at a cost of $728 per patient. Neither average indemnity reimbursement ($299) nor Medicaid reimbursement ($204) covered the cost per OAS patient. Breaking even is possible under indemnity reimbursement because operating room reimbursement subsidizes OAS costs. Breaking even cannot occur with Medicaid reimbursement under any circumstances. CONCLUSIONS: Obstetric analgesia services requires a minimum of 2.5 FTE attending anesthesiologists at Duke University Medical Center. With the current payer mix, positive-margin operating room activities associated with the obstetric service are not sufficient to compensate for the losses incurred by an OAS. Around-the-clock dedicated obstetric staffing (4.4 FTEs) cannot operate profitably under any reasonable circumstances at our institution. (+info)
Voluntary reporting system in anaesthesia: is there a link between undesirable and critical events?
BACKGROUND: Reporting systems in anaesthesia have generally focused on critical events (including death) to trigger investigations of latent and active errors. The decrease in the rate of these critical events calls for a broader definition of significant anaesthetic events, such as hypotension and bradycardia, to monitor anaesthetic care. The association between merely undesirable events and critical events has not been established and needs to be investigated by voluntary reporting systems. OBJECTIVES: To establish whether undesirable anaesthetic events are correlated with critical events in anaesthetic voluntary reporting systems. METHODS: As part of a quality improvement project, a systematic reporting system was implemented for monitoring 32 events during elective surgery in our hospital in 1996. The events were classified according to severity (critical/undesirable) and nature (process/outcome) and control charts and logistic regression were used to analyse the data. RESULTS: During a period of 30 months 22% of the 6439 procedures were associated with anaesthetic events, 15% of which were critical and 31% process related. A strong association was found between critical outcome events and critical process events (OR 11.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 4.4 to 27.8)), undesirable outcome events (OR 4.8 (95% CI 2.0 to 11.8)), and undesirable process events (OR 4.8 (95% CI 1.3 to 13.4)). For other classes of events, risk factors were related to the course of anaesthesia (duration, occurrence of other events) and included factors determined during the pre-anaesthetic visit (risk of haemorrhage, difficult intubation or allergic reaction). CONCLUSION: Undesirable events are associated with more severe events and with pre-anaesthetic risk factors. The way in which information on significant events can be used is discussed, including better use of preoperative information, reduction in the collection of redundant information, and more structured reporting. (+info)
Measurement of individual clinical productivity in an academic anesthesiology department.
BACKGROUND: The ability to measure productivity, work performed, or contributions toward the clinical mission has become an important issue facing anesthesiology departments in private practice and academic settings. Unfortunately, the practice and billing of anesthesia services makes it difficult to quantify individual productivity. This study examines the following methods of measuring individual productivity: normalized clinical days per year (nCD/yr); time units per operating-room day worked (TU/OR day); normalized time units per year (nTU/yr); total American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) units per OR day (tASA/OR day); and normalized total ASA units per year (ntASA/yr). METHODS: Billing and scheduling data for clinical activities of faculty members of an anesthesiology department at a university medical center were collected and analyzed for the 1998 fiscal year. All clinical sites and all clinical faculty anesthesiologists were included unless they spent less than 20% of their time during the fiscal year providing clinical care, i.e., less than 0.2 clinical full-time equivalent. Outliers, defined as faculty who had productivity greater or less than 1 SD from the mean, were examined in detail. RESULTS: Mean and median values were reported for each measurement, and different groups of outliers were identified. nCD/yr identified faculty who worked more than their clinical full-time equivalent would have predicted. TU/OR day and tASA/OR day identified apparently low-productivity faculty as those who worked a large portion of their time in obstetric anesthesia or an ambulatory surgicenter. tASA/OR day identified specialty anesthesiologists as apparently high-productivity faculty. nTU/yr and ntASA/yr were products of the per-OR day measurement and nCD/yr. CONCLUSION: Each of the measurements studied values certain types of productivity more than others. By defining what type of service is most important to reward, the most appropriate measure or combination of measures of productivity can be chosen. In the authors' department, nCD/yr is the most useful measure of individual productivity because it measures an individual anesthesiologist's contribution to daily staffing, includes all clinical sites, is independent of nonanesthesia factors, and is easy to collect and determine. (+info)
What are the standards for the emergency anaesthetic services?
Anaesthetists provide services throughout acute hospitals in areas such as the delivery floor and the intensive therapy unit as well as working in their traditional role in the operating theatre. Consensus standards of the number of staff needed to provide a satisfactory level of acute anaesthetic services, their qualifications and experience and the resources they require have been produced by a number of organizations. It is probable that many small and medium-sized district general hospitals will be unable to meet these standards without changes to traditional UK staffing structures. (+info)
Medicare and Medicaid programs; hospital Conditions of Participation: anesthesia services. Final rule.
This final rule amends the Anesthesia Services Condition of Participation (CoP) for hospitals, the Surgical Services Condition of Participation for Critical Access Hospitals (CAH), and the Surgical Services Condition of Coverage for Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs), and, with its publication, withdraws the January 18, 2001 final rule (66 FR 4674).This final rule maintains the current physician supervision requirement for certified registered nurse anesthetists(CRNAs), unless the Governor of a State, in consultation with the State's Boards of Medicine and Nursing, exercises the option of exemption from this requirement consistent with State law. (+info)