Don’t Underestimate Anesthesia’s Role in Value-Based Care

The start of a new year is a time for reflection. It presents a marked occasion to look back at accomplishments—both personal and professional— and identify opportunities for improvement. Healthcare facilities resolving to pursue a path toward improvement should apply focus to value-based care in order to meet, and very possibly exceed, their goals for the new year.

Working within a value-based care reimbursement model, facilities have the opportunity to separate themselves from their competition. Those that demonstrably deliver consistent, safe, high-quality care can expect to prosper. Facilities that don’t risk a decrease in both patient volume and reimbursement. This is especially true if there are poor outcomes which can result in negative reviews and the potential loss of Medicare certification or surgery center licensure.

While there are still many unknowns when it comes to value-based care, particularly around quality metrics and technology, one thing is certain. Patient safety and their feeling of a positive experience will be essential to succeed in today’s consumer-driven healthcare market. In the quest to attain excellence in patient safety and satisfaction, one area that is often overlooked is anesthesia.

Anesthesia Matters

With tightening reimbursements, stricter regulations and growing competition for patients, a less-than-optimal anesthesia and surgical partner will derail success. Well trained anesthesia staff that are equipped to handle any and all situations is vital to ensuring patient safety. The ability to track these successes is necessary to reap the financial benefits of the value-based initiative.

Because every person is unique, a one-size-fits-all anesthesia style doesn’t work in the value-based model where patient satisfaction and safety are a priority. Anesthesia requires an individualized approach to patient care that involves meeting with patients pre- and postoperatively to ensure that the delivery of anesthesia meets each patient’s unique needs. Easily-recognizable benefits of a positive anesthesia and perioperative experience include reduced anxiety, expedited recovery, taking time to educate the patient on the anesthesia plan, and the elimination of post-op pain and nausea while minimizing cost.

A facility’s anesthesia partner should easily be able to track and share key performance indicators in which they played a role including reasons for case cancelations, recovery time, room turnover times, patient satisfaction, unusual occurrences, hospital transfers, patient callbacks, patient balances, and postoperative pain and nausea/vomiting. This data will support benchmarking efforts and help to identify opportunities for improvement across the entire clinical workflow along with setting your center apart from the competition

Whether you’re outsourcing anesthesia services or keeping them in-house, don’t overlook anesthesia’s role in value-based care and today’s healthcare environment. Highly-trained staff with a proven track record of safety and success is essential, as is the ability to track this success using advanced data analytics.

With the right anesthesia team in place you will be one step closer to achieving and exceeding your quest to attain excellence in patient safety and satisfaction (key components of value-based care) in the new year. And if you aren’t asking your anesthesia provider to prove their track record and quality outcomes, you should.

More articles on anesthesia:
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Physician Partners of America opens pain relief group, ASC in the works — 3 details

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