Anesthesia providers face an ongoing challenge in maximizing efficiency while providing the highest quality of patient care. How can you improve your anesthesia practice? While new technologies are certainly helping healthcare evolve, human capital is more important than ever. Here are 5 strategies to improve your clinical anesthesia practice:
Future market downturns may reduce subsidies offered to public and private practices. However, this doesn’t mean you should downsize your clinic. The human element is crucial in providing quality care and giving patients peace of mind. Find other ways to cut costs. How can your team work more efficiently? Are you purchasing equipment that’s rarely used?Future market downturns may reduce subsidies offered to public and private practices. However, this doesn’t mean you should downsize your clinic. The human element is crucial in providing quality care and giving patients peace of mind.
Unlike other specialized doctors, anesthesiologists and CRNAs don’t usually spend a long time with patients. That makes it harder for them to contribute to the patient’s overall sense of comfort and peace of mind. While a surgeon might provide care during the operation, an anesthesiologist’s and CRNA’s role is to educate the patient before and after the operation. Discuss each case thoroughly with your patients to make sure they know what will happen during the operation and what to do after they leave. Ask them questions about their history and concerns, and encourage them to ask you about anything. You’ll learn more than you think, and might be able to prevent complications. However, in order for an anesthesia provider to take this responsibility, the organization must be flexible and teamwork-oriented.
Just how much care can anesthesiologists and CRNAs provide? Actually, a lot of that care happens in the absence of the patient. If your practice can manage it, have your anesthesiologists thoroughly examine patients’ history, medical reports and test results to best prepare them for their operations. This analysis can go a long way in ensuring patient safety and reducing the risk of lawsuits filed due to negligence.
Outpatient care requires dedicated professionals. Meet with your team and discuss whether an outpatient call-in and visit system is viable. While this may be difficult for smaller practices, the increased level of involvement will greatly improve the quality of care, resulting in more revenue. It’s a long-term investment that brings long-term returns.
All medical decisions should be based on quality data. Anesthesiologists must have an efficient way to pull up patient data and update it in the event of a call-in or readmission. The industry is quickly moving toward database-driven protocol, and anesthesia providers must keep up with the pace. Alarmingly few currently implement an electronic record-keeping system and rely solely on file cabinets and paper documents. Not only does sorting through physical folders waste time, but anesthesiologists who operate across multiple locations may find themselves without the data they need to provide accurate care.
While there are standards for electronic medical record-keeping, smaller practices may not have the resources or systems to adopt them. But a database doesn’t have to break the budget. Something as simple as a password-protected electronic spreadsheet can help your clinical anesthesia practice maintain quality records and access vital information quickly. It’s then just a matter of teaching your staff how to update the system and keep it organized. In addition, consider setting up an electronic scheduling system to help ensure that patients receive their operation on time. This not only increases overall patient satisfaction, but saves surgeons valuable time and helps nurses keep orderly records.
The bottom line: better data means fewer errors and a higher quality of patient care.
abeo Management Corporation (abeo) serves as a leading source of revenue cycle management and practice management with a specialization in anesthesia. The company leverages its people, processes, and software to serve independent practices, surgery centers, hospitals and healthcare systems with a scope of services that include billing, coding, transcription, practice management, and business consulting.