How Standardization Can Reduce Costs


A hospital with two anesthesia providers looked to Premier Anesthesia for consolidation.

When something works - and keeps working - it's a good idea to apply the lesson to other situations and spread the success. Premier Anesthesia's Evidence Based Staffing (EBS) is one of those lessons. Premier examines a facility's OR needs from all angles, interviewing all relevant staff and closely reviewing staffing plans. The close analysis often reveals issues that Premier Anesthesia can help solve.

The Situation: A Hospital Seeking Standardization

In East Texas, a hospital had two separate anesthesia groups, one covering the hospital and one covering its ambulatory surgery center. Hospital anesthesiologists wouldn't cover the surgery center and those at the surgery center didn't want to participate in call at the hospital. In addition, one doctor didn't want to handle OB cases. The hospital's goal was to have one, cohesive group. But with no leadership, things were not changing.

That is, until Premier Anesthesia came on the scene. Premier came in and formed one anesthesia group. Coverage for the surgery center was arranged by scheduling one physician and one CRNA to begin their workdays there and move to the hospital when cases at the center were handled. The group now has six CRNAs; two from the original staff and four new ones. Two full-time physicians were recruited, including a chief anesthesiologist who was recognized as Physician of the Year. One original anesthesiologist was retained as part-time vacation relief, a customized solution for the situation and the individual. All participate in call, which increases staffing flexibility.

After taking care of the staffing issue, it was time to move on to a very important part of the hospital's needs, the physician satisfaction survey. Anesthesiologists consistently got very low scores. Since Premier Anesthesia came on board in 2009, with quality providers who are service-oriented and work as a team, satisfaction has improved year over year. One physician even went so far as to say, "Anesthesia services are the best that I have been involved with in my career. They are great!"

An Added Bonus: Decreasing Subsidies

As satisfaction increased, the subsidy decreased. After the first year, it was down 19%; after the second, 5%. The estimated reduction after the third year is 28%.

"We were starting to grow and really needed someone to come in as a partner," says the hospital's CEO. "When Premier talked about the surgeons, they referred to them as their 'customer' and the hospital as their 'partner' and this was exactly what we were trying to achieve. It was a good fit from the get-go."

Premier Anesthesia's methods are proven to work and increase both quality of service and satisfaction among physicians and patients. Premier applies every lesson learned to enhance the OR experience for the facilities it serves.

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