3 Ways Surgical Providers Improve Patient Outcomes
Surgical providers—surgical assistants, nurses, and surgical technologists—provide aid during surgery to doctors. They assist in exposure, closure, hemostasis, and other intraoperative technical functions that ultimately ensure the surgery is successful. Additionally, these providers (like assistants) perform preoperative and postoperative duties that are essential to patient care. If you’re wondering how your hospital or surgery center could benefit from the integration of these professionals, here are three ways that they improve patient outcomes.
1. Shorten surgery times
According to the Canadian Journal of Surgery, operations involving skilled surgical assistants are completed 30 percent faster. Shortening your surgery time is critical when considering patient outcomes. Prolonged operative durations can be associated with complications. For example, researchers at the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) note that longer surgery duration for venous thromboembolism (VTE) can result in an increased risk of blood clots in the leg. Ultimately, these clots can cause a pulmonary embolism—a blocked blood vessel—that can be life-threatening.
2. Allow more procedures to be performed
When surgery times are shortened, surgeons and other surgery providers are able to work with more patients per day. This means that more procedures are performed, and more patients are assisted overall. Depending on the specialty, around 8 to 10 small surgeries are possible each day. However, the number of surgeries performed depends on surgery length. Operating rooms must be cleaned in between surgeries, which means any delay in moving patients in and out of surgery as well as performing pre-op and post-op care can delay other surgeries on the books.
3. Minimize patient time under anesthesia
General anesthesia induces a sleep-like state using a combination of intravenous medications and inhaled gasses. Although the patient simply feels as though they are asleep, the drugs that are used to stimulate this state do more to the body. As a result, the brain doesn’t respond to pain signals or reflexes.
Though general anesthesia is safe, it does carry risks of side effects, especially when used for a prolonged period during surgery. If an anesthetic is used for longer than 5 hours, it is more likely that the complication rates will escalate. The longer a patient stays under anesthesia past this point, the more likely they are to experience side effects or complications.
As a doctor, it’s your job to monitor your patient’s time under anesthesia and look for ways to minimize this when possible. Putting more capable hands in the room is one of the easiest ways you can shorten the surgery time to reduce risks and complications.
Extra hands mean lighter and faster work for all. Expanding your surgical team to include assistants, nurses, and technological staff to help can mean shorter surgery times, healthier patients, more surgeries, and improved outcomes.
If you’re looking for assistance with surgical provider staffing, Platinum Medical Staffing is here to help. We can send certified and professional providers to your facility at a low price. Better yet, we even offer a no-cost option with insurance for medical facilities seeking surgical assistants. For more information, visit Platinum Medical Staffing.