How to Measure the Success of Your Anesthesia Department
In hospital administration, data is immensely valuable. We understand the importance of making data-driven decisions and work hard to collect high-value data at every opportunity in the anesthesia care continuum. Numerous quantifiable benefits to outsourcing anesthesia management can be used in deciding whether to outsource or transition to a new anesthesia management group. If you’re trying to determine how to quantifiably measure the success of your anesthesia department, keep reading.
Examine Your Anesthesia Department’s Sentinel Events
A sentinel event is a patient safety event that results in death, permanent harm or severe temporary harm. Sentinel events are debilitating to both patients and health care providers involved in the event. The Joint Commission tracks these events and works to prevent these types of events from happening in the first place. Considering that patient safety is the topmost priority for healthcare providers, examining your anesthesia department’s sentinel events is an important element of quantifying the success of your anesthesia department. To provide context on how many sentinel events are acceptable, DPI Anesthesia has had less than 1% of cases result in sentinel events in a 15-year timeframe.
Track Same-Day Anesthesia-Related Surgery Cancellations
Your hospital or surgery should never be forced to cancel surgeries due to anesthesia provider shortages or other anesthesia-related issues. If this has become routine for your facility, it is time to reconsider your anesthesia management group. An experienced anesthesia management group always has contingency plans in place for any issue that may arise that would result in same-day surgery cancellations. If you have not been tracking same-day anesthesia-related surgery cancellations, start now. At DPI Anesthesia, we have experienced less than 1% of surgeries being canceled same day as a result of anesthesia issues.
Study Opioid Use in Cesarean Sections
To help fight the nation’s opioid crisis, opioid-sparing techniques are on the rise. Many anesthesia departments are adopting Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols that lead to shorter inpatient stays, better surgical outcomes and a reduced rate of prescribing opioids for postoperative pain control. When it comes to cesarean sections, ERAS involves a combination of long-acting opioids that last for 18 hours after delivery—reducing the patient’s pain immediately after the C-section—and alternating non-narcotic medications around the clock to limit inpatient morphine use. By offering a longer, more even level of pain control to keep new mothers comfortable throughout the day, patients are able to avoid high peaks of pain. On average, clients of DPI Anesthesia have seen an 80% reduction in opioid use in C-sections.
Look for a Reduction in Overall Surgical Opioid Use
In addition to being great for C-sections, ERAS protocols can be implemented in countless other surgeries. Since ERAS has been proven to lead to fewer instances of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), reduced length of inpatient stays, faster recoveries, higher patient satisfaction scores and reduced costs for facilities, you should absolutely be looking for a reduction in overall surgical opioid use. Well-educated and highly informed anesthesia providers should be proficient in the latest strategies to manage acute surgical pain and pain in the immediate postoperative period while also minimizing risks of persistent opioid use following surgery. On average, our clients have seen a 40% reduction in overall surgical opioid usage since implementing ERAS protocols.
Consider Temporary Staffing Expenses
If your anesthesia department is not fully staffed, chances are that you are paying a small fortune in temporary staffing fees. Locum tenens cost a premium and depending on your arrangement with your anesthesia management group, this expense could be dragging down your bottom line. Recruiting and retaining the highest performing, most clinically excellent anesthesia providers is one of our specialties at DPI Anesthesia. If your anesthesia department routinely experiences staffing shortages, closely examine your temporary staffing expenses. DPI Anesthesia has been able to significantly reduce locum tenens expenses for all of our clients.
If you have been tasked with quantifying the success of your anesthesia department and are unsure how your metrics measure up to national averages, give us a call (800.454.9902). Our anesthesia experts are standing by to answer your questions and can share insights into how to make your anesthesia department more profitable.