On-The-Fence Hospital Validated with a Smooth Transition


Committing to outsourced anesthesia management is a big decision - but is it a big decision that you can afford to postpone? When big decisions are looming, you can feel like you're going around in circles. It's hard to know where to turn for a smooth transition. This hospital in the Midwest wanted to improve its anesthesia service, and it was a bumpy start.

What Might Have Been

About four years ago, conversations about increasing anesthesia efficiency were moving in a good direction, then a roadblock went up.

Two years later, Premier Anesthesia was asked to make a presentation about its services. Unexpectedly under spotlights and in front of an audience of about 60 people - surgeons and other physicians, plus hospital leadership at the facility and its cross-town system companion - Premier Anesthesia executives explained how they could make ORs run more effectively. Those in attendance actually voted and Premier Anesthesia placed first among the finalists. Just as Premier rolled up their sleeves to start work, the head of the health system slammed on the breaks.

Time to Revisit that Partnership

Now we fast forward another two years. After 3,000 lost surgical cases, the realization hit that the facility was not going to make its budget. The hospital could not succeed with its longtime anesthesia group. The president was ready for a U-turn.

The president of the hospital knew about Premier Anesthesia through word-of-mouth. After an initial consultation, he gave the green light for a contract. He was assertive enough to keep the process moving forward.

Services began February 1st. Back in September, the new Premier Medical Director and executives were at the facility interviewing everyone including surgeons, physicians, pharmacy, and nursing. Trust was built. Issues emerged. Solutions were identified.

Instead of using an all-anesthesiologist model, Premier went with an anesthesia team approach (a better option for this particular hospital) with 8.5 anesthesiologists and 18 CRNAs.

Two cardiac anesthesiologists were retained. Premier Anesthesia's access to a vast recruiting database allowed it to have six of the doctors and 10-12 CRNAs in place by February 1st, so the majority of the permanent providers were there on day one.

The night before the official changeover, a kickoff dinner was organized involving hospital leadership, providers, key OR nursing staff and anesthesia techs. The evening encouraged camaraderie among people who had not worked together before. The next day, new personnel had orientation with all departments that touch the OR. Veteran staff took call while their new colleagues learned the ropes.

The Overdue Result

Premier Anesthesia's Medical Director keeps traffic flowing smoothly: no chaos, no lost cases and no political turmoil. Now, the CEO gets messages from surgeons that the anesthesia group is a "night and day" difference. The team turns around cases so quickly, one surgeon says, "We don't have time to get lunch or a snack!"

The effort on the front end - particularly finding the right people and building solid relationships - paid off with a smooth transition.

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