Role of communication systems in coordinating supervising anesthesiologists' activities outside of operating rooms

Bettina Smallman, Franklin Dexter, Danielle Masursky, Fenghua Li, Reza Gorji, Dave George, Richard H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Theoretically, communication systems have the potential to increase the productivity of anesthesiologists supervising anesthesia providers. We evaluated the maximal potential of communication systems to increase the productivity of anesthesia care by enhancing anesthesiologists' coordination of care (activities) among operating rooms (ORs). METHODS: At hospital A, data for 13,368 pages were obtained from files recorded in the internal alphanumeric text paging system. Pages from the postanesthesia care unit were processed through a numeric paging system and thus not included. At hospital B, in a different US state, 3 of the authors categorized each of 898 calls received using the internal wireless audio system (Vocera®). Lower and upper 95% confidence limits for percentages are the values reported. RESULTS: At least 45% of pages originated from outside the ORs (e.g., 20% from holding area) at hospital A and at least 56% of calls (e.g., 30% administrative) at hospital B. In contrast, requests from ORs for urgent presence of the anesthesiologist were at most 0.2% of pages at hospital A and 1.8% of calls at hospital B. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately half of messages to supervising anesthesiologists are for activity originating outside the ORs being supervised. To use communication tools to increase anesthesia productivity on the day of surgery, their use should include a focus on care coordination outside ORs (e.g., holding area) and among ORs (e.g., at the control desk).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-903
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Volume116
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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