Anesthesiologists as 'Air Traffic Controllers of the OR'

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , April 24, 2014

"As hospitals prioritize patient satisfaction, anesthesiologists play a more visible role," says Adam Blomberg, MD, vice chief of anesthesiology at Memorial Regional Hospital and education director for the anesthesiology division at Sheridan Healthcare. "We realize that patients are becoming consumers and we thought, 'Who better to educate patients but anesthesiologists?' "

Blomberg says patients who are scheduled for surgery receive a welcome letter and are directed to an online portal that provides education about anesthesia services, such as what to expect before and after surgery. It's led to patients coming in and asking more pointed questions.

As a result, he says patients are also less anxious, which in turn can affect their perception of the quality of care they received pre- and post-surgery. "We started it [the patient education process] in mid-2013 with all surgeries," says Blomberg. "The goal is for patients to have one place to go for their questions, rather than going to Google."

Coordinating Care in the OR
Another key component to trying to improve patient satisfaction through Memorial's anesthesiology program is coordinating care among the clinical team. Blomberg says that by using a patient-centered approach during the perioperative experience, Memorial has reduced unnecessary testing.

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