Skip to main content

CHICAGO, Nov. 14, 2023 / PR NEWSWIRE /

Surgical Directions, the nation’s premier clinician-driven, perioperative, anesthesia, technology, and workforce solutions organization, is taking proactive steps to address the critical issue of anesthesia provider shortages affecting hospitals nationwide. Dr. Jason Klopotowski, MD, Lead Physician Managing Director at Surgical Directions, has outlined innovative strategies to combat these shortages and enhance the efficiency of surgical services.

The growing shortage of anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) has led to a significant increase in anesthesia coverage costs for hospitals.

On average, healthcare facilities are paying north of 400K in subsidy or stipend per anesthetizing location.

The average cost of physician anesthesiologists is up 20%-40% in 2023 compared to 2022.

Requests for financial support, such as anesthesia stipends, have surged by as much as 400%, placing a considerable financial burden on healthcare institutions.

These shortages have also resulted in operating room (OR) closures and lost case revenue, compounding the challenges faced by hospitals in their efforts to rebuild elective surgery revenue. To tackle this issue, Surgical Directions helps clients by redesigning block schedules to achieve 75% daily utilization, which improves surgeon access (growth ability) and reduces anesthesia costs.

The key interventions proposed by Klopotowski are:

  1. Mitigate “White Space” in the Daily OR Schedule: By reevaluating the allocation of block time to surgeons based on actual utilization rather than seniority, hospitals can significantly increase OR efficiency and reduce staff overtime.
  2. Create Special Capacity for Urgent and Emergent Cases: Dedicate a portion of the OR schedule to accommodate unplanned surgeries, reducing overtime costs and improving patient flow.
  3. Integrate Non-OR Anesthesia (NORA) Locations: Streamline NORA schedules and coordinate them with the main OR schedule to avoid spikes in anesthesia demand, optimizing anesthesia resources.

These interventions not only reduce anesthesia coverage costs but also improve overall OR performance, lower labor costs, and facilitate volume growth.

Klopotowski emphasizes the importance of these changes, stating, “Optimizing OR utilization is not only about cost reduction; it’s about creating a more efficient and financially sustainable healthcare system. By aligning the interests of hospitals, anesthesia providers, and surgeons, we can build a stronger working relationship and enhance patient quality and safety, efficiency, and financial outcomes.”

For healthcare executives seeking solutions to the anesthesia crisis and improved OR performance, Surgical Directions offers innovative strategies and actionable recommendations.

Author

  • Jason Klopotowski

    Dr. Klopotowski is Surgical Direction’s lead physician managing director. He is a clinically active anesthesiologist with over a decade of experience in critical care medicine and anesthesia leadership. As an interim chair of anesthesia, he has shepherded multiple anesthesia groups through transitions to employment, working collaboratively with hospital leadership and the group to ensure efficient transitions with no disruptions to service or decrease in clinical quality.

Jason Klopotowski

Dr. Klopotowski is Surgical Direction’s lead physician managing director. He is a clinically active anesthesiologist with over a decade of experience in critical care medicine and anesthesia leadership. As an interim chair of anesthesia, he has shepherded multiple anesthesia groups through transitions to employment, working collaboratively with hospital leadership and the group to ensure efficient transitions with no disruptions to service or decrease in clinical quality.