Getting Surgeons and Anesthesiologists Aligned

Communication Tactics for Improving Patient Outcomes

Surgeon and anesthesiologist alignment may be more critical to patient satisfaction than many doctors expect [i, ii, iii]. A lack of alignment is common in many areas: anesthesia preferences, conflicting personalities, patient needs, and more. In a healthcare market where patients can choose to receive treatment at facilities with higher patient satisfaction scores, physicians can benefit from taking the right measures to optimize the perioperative experience.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Sonia Szlyk and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Brion Gardner have worked to optimize patient outcomes by minimizing miscommunication. In the article Improving Patient Outcomes through Surgeon/Anesthesiologist Alignment, they outline best practices in the following areas:

  • Taking responsibility for communication
  • Assessing individual patient needs
  • Establishing a system to foster good communication

[i] Kumar, Mritunjay, Hari Har Dash, and Rajiv Chawla. “Communication Skills of Anesthesiologists: An Indian Perspective.” Journal of Anaesthesiology, Clinical Pharmacology 29.3 (2013): 372–376. PMC. Web. 13 May 2016.
[ii]Gawande, Atul A., Michael J. Zinner, David M. Studdert, and Troyen A. Brennan. “Analysis of Errors Reported by Surgeons at Three Teaching Hospitals.” Surgery 133.6 (2003): 614-21. Web.
[iii] Heidegger, Thomas, Detlef Saal, and Matthias Nuebling. “Patient Satisfaction with Anaesthesia Care: What Is Patient Satisfaction, How Should It Be Measured, and What Is the Evidence for Assuring High Patient Satisfaction?” Best Practice & Research Clinical Anaesthesiology 20.2 (2006): 331-46. Web.

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