5 Warning Signs of an Underperforming Anesthesia Team




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Anesthesia departments are crucial to the success of operating rooms (ORs). Given the complexity of anesthesiology, effective management is essential. Providers must have excellent clinical skills and a thorough understanding of the business side of their services. Ensuring your anesthesia team excels in both areas is vital. Here are five warning signs that your anesthesia team might be underperforming:

1. Clinical Inefficiencies

Clinical inefficiencies can manifest as non-compliance with internal and external standards, policies, procedures, and best practices. Lookout for:

  • A trend toward severe post-operative nausea and vomiting.
  • Patient safety issues and medication errors.
  • An unacceptable level of adverse outcomes.
  • Poor adherence to best practices.

2. Performance Deficiencies

When assessing the anesthesia team’s performance, focus on the quality metrics they use and their approach to achieving efficiency. Transparency is key to monitoring:

  • Slow case turnovers in the OR and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.
  • Delayed first-case starts.
  • Inadequate OR coverage.
  • Incomplete or missing chart review and audit procedures for each case.
  • Ineffective tracking of outcomes.

3. Dissatisfied Customers

Healthcare, like any successful business, must be customer-centric. Satisfaction from patients, surgeons, nursing staff, and executive leaders is crucial for maintaining your revenue and reputation. Watch for these signs of dissatisfaction:

  • Low scores on satisfaction surveys.
  • Complaints from surgeons, nursing, or administration staff.
  • High staff turnover.

4. Administrative Problems

If your anesthesia team’s productivity doesn’t align with your ROI goals, there could be issues. Look out for:

  • Delayed first-case starts.
  • Poor revenue cycle management due to billing errors and late payments.
  • Increased subsidies for anesthesia services.
  • Lost revenue streams.

5. Ineffective Leadership

Strong on-site leadership in the anesthesia department ensures peak clinical, operational, and fiscal performance, resulting in high stakeholder satisfaction. Watch for these signs of ineffective leadership:

  • Little to no participation in hospital/ASC committees.
  • Poor alignment with the hospital’s goals and mission.
  • Inadequate communication.
  • Uncollaborative leaders and providers.


An underperforming anesthesia team can significantly impact your OR’s financial performance. If you’re questioning your team’s effectiveness, Somnia Anesthesia may have the answers you need. Check out our latest video and infographic for more insights!

To download our new infographic on The Five Rs of Anesthesia Delivery, click here.

Also, click here to watch our short video to assess your team’s performance.

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