Predicting Anesthesia Times for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiological Procedures

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We studied anesthesia times for diagnostic and interventional radiology using anesthesia billing data and paper radiology logbooks. For computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging procedures, we tried to predict future anesthesia times by using historical anesthesia times classified by Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes. By this method, anesthesia times were estimated even less accurately than operating room cases. Computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging had many different CPT codes, most rare, and CPT codes reflected organs imaged, not scanning times. However, when, anesthesia times were estimated by expert judgment, face validity and accuracy were good. Lower and upper prediction bounds were also estimated from the expert estimates. For interventional radiology, predicting anesthesia times was challenging because few CPT codes accounted for most cases. Because interventional radiologists scheduled their elective cases into allocated time, the necessary goal was not to estimate the time to complete each case but rather the time to complete each day’s entire series of elective cases including turnover times. We determined the time of day (e.g., 4 pm) up to when interventional radiology could schedule so that on 80% of days the anesthesia team finishes no later than a specified time (e.g., 6 pm). Both diagnostic and interventional radiology results were similarly less accurate when Version 9 of the International Classifications of Diseases’ procedure codes was used instead of CPT.

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