Scheduling the nonoperating room anesthesia suite

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Nonoperating room anesthesia (NORA) and procedural services often are associated with dispersed geographic settings and small volumes of cases. These lead to scheduling challenges that, if not managed well, result in decreased patient and healthcare team satisfaction and reduced efficiency. This review describes recent studies and provides examples on how NORA scheduling issues have been addressed.

Recent findings

Increased use of blocked time for consolidated NORA services can lead to sufficiently large volumes of cases that allow improved scheduling and maintain patient and healthcare team satisfaction and better efficiency of care. In general, patients and proceduralists find that service blocks offered at least once every 2 weeks are acceptable. With the ability to perform the full scope of perioperative practices such as preoperative assessment and postoperative management, anesthesiologists are well positioned to lead NORA services. There is a rising expectation for both graduate medical education experiences and continuing education in quality improvement for NORA services.

Summary

Many factors play a role in successful scheduling of NORA services. Increasing consolidation of services, the use of block scheduling, and leadership by anesthesiologists can help improve patient and healthcare team satisfaction and practice efficiencies.

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