Trends in Quality of Anesthesia Care Associated with Changing Staffing Patterns, Productivity, and Concurrency of Case Supervision in a Teaching Hospital

ArticleinAnesthesiology 91(3):839-47 · September 1999with18 Reads
DOI: 10.1097/00000542-199909000-00037 · Source: PubMed
The authors used continuous quality improvement (CQI) program data to investigate trends in quality of anesthesia care associated with changing staffing patterns in a university hospital. The monthly proportion of cases performed by solo attending anesthesiologists versus attending-resident teams or attending-certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) teams was used to measure staffing patterns. Anesthesia team productivity was measured as mean monthly surgical anesthesia hours billed per attending anesthesiologist per clinical day. Supervisory ratios (concurrency) were measured as mean monthly number of cases supervised concurrently by attending anesthesiologists. Quality of anesthesia care was measured as monthly rates of critical incidents, patient injury, escalation of care, operational inefficiencies, and human errors per 10,000 cases. Trends in quality at increasing productivity and concurrency levels from 1992 to 1997 were analyzed by the one-sided Jonckheere-Terpstra test. Productivity was positively correlated with concurrency (r = 0.838; P<0.001). Productivity levels ranged from 10 to 17 h per anesthesiologist per clinical day. Concurrency ranged from 1.6 to 2.2 cases per attending anesthesiologist. At higher productivity and concurrency levels, solo anesthesiologists conducted a smaller percentage of cases, and the proportion of cases with CRNA team members increased. The patient injury rate decreased with increased productivity levels (P = 0.002), whereas the critical incident rate increased (P = 0.001). Changes in operational inefficiency, escalation of care, and human error rates were not statistically significant (P = 0.072, 0.345, 0.320, respectively). Most aspects of quality of anesthesia care were apparently not effected by changing anesthesia team composition or increased productivity and concurrency. Only team performance was measured; the role of individuals (attending anesthesiologist, resident, or CRNA) in quality of care was not directly measured. Further research is needed to explain lower patient injury rates and increases in critical incident reporting at higher concurrency and productivity levels.
    • "These findings demonstrate support for the safety and quality of care provided by CRNAs working without anesthesiologist involvement. For both types of hospitals, the rate of complications was low and well within the range found at a major teaching institution in Washington for all types of anesthetics (Posner & Freund, 1999). The conclusion supports the concept that the decisions about type of anesthesia staffing can be reasonably based on considerations other than safety or quality, such as availability of the type of provider, hospital budgets, or percentage of Medicaid patients cared for at the hospital. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obstetrical anesthesia services may be provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), anesthesiologists, or a combination of the two providers. Research is needed to assist hospitals and anesthesia groups in making cost-effective staffing choices. To identify differences in the rates of anesthetic complications in hospitals whose obstetrical anesthesia is provided solely by CRNAs compared to hospitals with only anesthesiologists. Washington State hospital discharge data were obtained from 1993 to 2004 for all cesarean sections, and were merged with a survey of hospital obstetrical anesthesia staffing. Anesthetic complications were identified via International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis codes. Resulting rates were risk-adjusted using regression analysis. Hospitals with CRNA-only staffing had a lower rate of anesthetic complications than those with anesthesiologist staffing (0.58% vs. 0.76%, p=.0006). However, after regression analysis, this difference was not significant (odds ratio for CRNA vs. anesthesiologist complications: 1.046 to 1, 95% confidence interval 0.649-1.658, p=.85). There is no difference in rates of complications between the two types of staffing models. As a result, hospitals and anesthesiology groups may safely examine other variables, such as provider availability and costs, when staffing for obstetrical anesthesia. Further study is needed to validate the use of ICD-9-CM codes for anesthesia complications as an indicator of quality.
    Article · Jan 2007
    • "Two hospitalists with experience studying surgical complications provided operational definitions for 56 other adverse occurrences [28] . Anesthesiologists experienced in studying anesthetic adverse occurrences provided definitions for 30 peri-operative anesthetic events [29]. With input from operating room nurses, technicians, and managers, we developed criteria for 20 adverse process-of-surgical care issues (e.g., lack of appropriate equipment, implants, documentation, or diagnostic studies). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Independent of efficacy, information on safety of surgical procedures is essential for informed choices. We seek to develop standardized methodology for describing the safety of spinal operations and apply these methods to study lumbar surgery. We present a conceptual model for evaluating the safety of spine surgery and describe development of tools to measure principal components of this model: (1) specifying outcome by explicit criteria for adverse event definition, mode of ascertainment, cause, severity, or preventability, and (2) quantitatively measuring predictors such as patient factors, comorbidity, severity of degenerative spine disease, and invasiveness of spine surgery. We created operational definitions for 176 adverse occurrences and established multiple mechanisms for reporting them. We developed new methods to quantify the severity of adverse occurrences, degeneration of lumbar spine, and invasiveness of spinal procedures. Using kappa statistics and intra-class correlation coefficients, we assessed agreement for the following: four reviewers independently coding etiology, preventability, and severity for 141 adverse occurrences, two observers coding lumbar spine degenerative changes in 10 selected cases, and two researchers coding invasiveness of surgery for 50 initial cases. During the first six months of prospective surveillance, rigorous daily medical record reviews identified 92.6% of the adverse occurrences we recorded, and voluntary reports by providers identified 38.5% (surgeons reported 18.3%, inpatient rounding team reported 23.1%, and conferences discussed 6.1%). Trained observers had fair agreement in classifying etiology of 141 adverse occurrences into 18 categories (kappa = 0.35), but agreement was substantial (kappa > or = 0.61) for 4 specific categories: technical error, failure in communication, systems failure, and no error. Preventability assessment had moderate agreement (mean weighted kappa = 0.44). Adverse occurrence severity rating had fair agreement (mean weighted kappa = 0.33) when using a scale based on the JCAHO Sentinel Event Policy, but agreement was substantial for severity ratings on a new 11-point numerical severity scale (ICC = 0.74). There was excellent inter-rater agreement for a lumbar degenerative disease severity score (ICC = 0.98) and an index of surgery invasiveness (ICC = 0.99). Composite measures of disease severity and surgery invasiveness may allow development of risk-adjusted predictive models for adverse events in spine surgery. Standard measures of adverse events and risk adjustment may also facilitate post-marketing surveillance of spinal devices, effectiveness research, and quality improvement.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2006
    • "Il faut donc toujours appliquer la règle «N+1». Cette amélioration de la productivité que permet l'équipe médecin anesthésisteréanimateur/IADE est compatible avec une grande sécurité [4]. La question qui se pose est de savoir avec combien d'IADE le médecin peut travailler et donc combien de salles d'opération peut il ainsi simultanément avoir en charge. "
    Article · · BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
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