We’d like you to hear more stories like this…
“I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait for emergency surgery – there was an anesthesiologist available when I needed one and they had access to the information they needed about me. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle waiting in pain.”
To be sustainable, our health care system must have the right number and mix of health care professionals, and the resources they need to do their work.
Mismanagement of health care funding has worsened the problems in our system, especially the shortage of anesthesiologists.
To help fix this problem, we recommend:
Better Information Technology
Innovations in the technology anesthesiologists use to access and manage information would greatly improve the time it takes to care for patients, and would also assist anesthesiologists in making critical decisions. We should:
- Implement the Perioperative Anesthesia Network for BC (PAN-BC), a widely supported idea created by anesthesiologists for a provincial electronic medical record system.
- Use data generated from this system to guide future improvements to the efficiency of BC’s Operating Rooms.
Expand the Use of Anesthesia Assistants
Anesthesia Assistants are specially-trained physician assistants who provide valuable support to anesthesiologists. They improve patient care and save tax dollars. They have a 25-year track record in Canada that has proven their value to the health care system.
- Train, hire, and retain more Anesthesia Assistants for patient care in BC.
Innovative Use of Health Resources
With so many services to provide, BC’s health care funding is stretched thin. That means that the way every dollar is spent has a real effect on patients.
Anesthesiologists have the experience and the understanding needed to design a system that best uses all of its valuable resources.
Anesthesiology-led pilot projects – such as St. Paul’s regional (nerve block) program – have generated up to 80% more care from each health care dollar, while receiving praise from satisfied patients.
Great solutions exist, and many would be easy to implement if anesthesiologists were given the influence to make them happen.
The Value of Recruitment
None of this will be possible without recruiting and retaining enough anesthesiologists to meet the needs of BC patients.
Instead of ignoring the current crisis, the BC government should see this as an opportunity to dedicate its efforts to make BC an attractive place for anesthesiologists to work, and to make the system function better.