In this entry I will go over how to improve communications between anesthesia providers and hospitalists which is very important in order to maximize OR efficiency.
There has been a huge growth surge for the hospitalist profession an estimated 29% of hospitals employ the specialty including 55% of hospitals with 200 or more beds. Therefore, the anesthesia providers are working closely and more often with the hospitalists particularly in the area of perioperative medicine.
The first important point is to realize that anesthesia providers basically function as hospitals for surgical patients. Both specialties should have common goals or improving patent care, decreasing the risk for errors and reducing waste.
Best practice tips for improving communications between anesthesiologists and hospitalists.
The hospitalists, when clearing patients for surgery, need to speak directly with the anesthesiologist in detail about the pt’s readiness for surgery, and address whether there is anything else that could be optimized with the patient.
The anesthesiologists when turning finished surgery cases back over to the hospitalist should talk directly with the hospitalist instead of relying on a nurse or the chart to explain a patient’s status. Remember any medical transition risks a significant loss of critical information.
There should be monthly meetings between the heads of the two specialties so they can clarify any expectations and establish goals for each practice.