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Anesthesiologists as 'Air Traffic Controllers of the OR'

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, April 24, 2014

Decreasing the number of tests a patient needed before surgery did not happen as quickly as the patient education element. Instead, Blomberg explains that process started slowly, and only began at the end of 2013. He had to educate providers, hospitals, and surgeons on latest guidelines to explain why he wasn't recommending as many tests.

Essentially, Blomberg found that more tests led to more information, but not necessarily meaningful information that changed a patient's surgery path. That line of thinking, or rather questioning, has caught on with specialty organizations and is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine ABIM.

Cancellations Rack Up Costs, Dissatisfaction
Through its "Choosing Wisely" campaign, the ABIM, in partnership with the ASA, released five pre-operative and intraoperative tests or procedures that patients and physicians should question.

Blomberg says that more tests can lead to same-day surgery cancellations, which was both a red flag and an opportunity to improve at Memorial. "One of the biggest patient dissatisfiers is same-day cancellation," says Blomberg.

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