Costs and risks of weekend anesthesia staffing at 6 independently managed surgical suites.

Franklin Dexter, Richard H. Epstein, H. Michael Marsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We previously developed a statistical method that managers can use to assure that nurse anesthetists are on call on weekends for as few hours as possible while providing a specified level of care for operating room (OR) patients. The statistically derived staffing solutions are optimal, meaning that the total number of staffed hours is guaranteed to be as low as possible to achieve the specified risk of being unable to care for patients as promptly as they had in the recent past. We used the statistical method to review nurse anesthetist weekend staffing at 6 surgical suites that were part of a healthcare system with a cost-conscious management team. Four of the suites had already made staffing changes resulting in a greater than 6% risk of being understaffed. One suite had adequate current staffing but slightly exceeded the minimum total staffing hours. One suite had more anesthetist coverage than was needed, resulting in excess staffing costs greater than $200,000 per year. We conclude that the principal value of the statistical method may be in helping healthcare system administrators and anesthetists quantify the impact of contemplated reductions in staffing on their risk of understaffing and prologing patients' wait for OR care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-381
Number of pages5
JournalAANA journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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