Anesthesia care is essential for any hospital or practice that performs surgery. Completely removing anesthesia from your list of services will drastically reduce your income because procedures are one of the biggest profit areas for physicians, so you must instead focus on reduce costs without minimizing safety. The changes will be difficult to make at first, but they are being used at many practices with significant success.
Changing the Team
In a traditional setting, the surgery team is composed entirely of physicians with technicians doing some small work here and there. This is a great way to ensure safety, but it also significantly increases the number of anesthesiologists needed. It might seem like a bad idea initially, but many practices are moving towards primarily using registered nurses certified in anesthesia care during procedures. Anesthesiologists are still useful, but they serve as supervisors by ensuring that the nurses are doing everything correctly. This means that you can achieve the same level of care with fewer doctors and more nurses.
Before shifting the teams though, be sure to speak with the doctors at your practice and consult your local laws. Some states do not allow this due to the perceived risk.
Drugs are constantly wasted and there is no way to completely eliminate this problem. What you might be surprised to know is that about 20 to 50 percent of anesthetic drugs that are drawn up are never used or discarded. There is an acceptable amount of waste in the name of sanitation, but this amount adds a huge amount to your bottom line.
Be sure to implement policies that reduce the amount of drugs that are drawn up so that more is available for other procedures. It’s also good to keep a stricter log of who draws up the drugs so that you can see who is wasting the most.
Prevent Side Effects
Side effects are a major cost associated with anesthesia care. The doctor must visit the patient often to ensure that he or she is doing well, and drugs may have to be used to counter nausea or other problems. This wastes time, drugs and even makes patients angry by thinking that the doctors are incompetent. Predicting and eliminating these problems can’t be done in every instance, but there are many procedures where a good doctor will know what will happen.
For example, most gynecological and cosmetic surgery patients are faced with nausea. Be sure to warn them and give them drugs beforehand so that the anesthesiologist can move on to new cases.
Reducing anesthesia costs in any practice can be difficult and you’ll have to ruffle a few feathers, but it’s worth it and you’ll likely achieve a higher level of care and confidence. The benefits you’ll get will be much better than any backlash you’ll encounter.Tags: featured