Physician-led anesthesia team increases access to care, Colorado study finds

A physician anesthesiologist-led care team model increases access to care compared to nurse-administered sedation, according to a study from the University of Colorado Hospital.

The hospital had previously used a model where procedural nurses provided sedation under supervision from gastroenterologists for cases that did not require general anesthesia. It then moved to the anesthesia care team model for all gastrointestinal cases. 

The hospital analyzed the sedation-to-scope-in time of 5,640  gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures. When comparing the two models, researchers found it took less time to begin the procedure when deep sedation with propofol was provided by the anesthesia care team than when nurses administered sedation with fentanyl, midazolam and diphenhydramine. 

That change, along with a new patient flow that required procedural consents to be signed before patients arrived, increased daily procedural volume by 25 percent.

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