3 Steps to Involve Anesthesia in ASC Cost Reduction Efforts

Susan Kizirian, chief operating officer for ASCOA, describes three steps ASCs can take to involve their anesthesiologists in reducing costs.

1. Implement standardized pre-op assessment criteria across all anesthesia providers in the anesthesia group. To maximize ease and convenience of patient preoperative evaluation, with a goal of eliminating same-day cancellations and the elimination or reduction of redundant preoperative laboratory requirements, specific pre-op guidelines are set and disseminated to surgeons & facility staff. "When all anesthesia providers follow these same protocols, everyone is on the same page, eliminating confusion and case cancellations," Ms. Kizirian says. "Any variance to the protocol allows immediate evaluation for patient appropriateness and subsequent testing and evaluation as necessary."

2. Anesthesia provider talks directly to the surgeon when a case is determined ineligible in the ASC setting. Since the surgeon scheduled the case, it is the surgeon who cancels the case. The primary relationship is between the surgeon and the patient. When the anesthesia provider takes a moment to contact the surgeon to discuss the criteria they are evaluating with the surgeon, frequently the exchange results in the case not being cancelled, says Ms. Kizirian says. "It is also a learning opportunity for the facility staff and the surgeon to dialog over anesthesia concerns and evaluate and improve services," she says.

3. Anesthesia provider standardizes drug protocols across all their providers in their group. "This creates a synergy of efficiency and efficacy that allows for safe, high quality anesthesia management that is also cost effective," says Ms. Kizirian. "Utilization of protocols pre-, intra- and post-operatively that allow for the patient's quick recovery from anesthesia, that reduces post-operative nausea and vomiting to absolute minimum level and controls post-operative pain, are essential. They increase the quality of care and enhance the patients' ability to return to the comfort of home and family.

Learn more about ASCOA.

Read more guidance from the leadership team at ASCOA:

- 3 Mistakes ASCs Make When Purchasing Supplies

Guidance to Calculate OR Utilization Costs and Reduce Them

Growing Your ASC, the Path of Least Resistance: Top 4 Easiest Specialties to Transition Into an ASC

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