Anesthesia regulatory and accreditation standards are the baseline for clinical quality. A study conducted by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center demonstrated the importance of going beyond compliance.
Researchers collected data from 164 operating room cases involving anesthesia. The results revealed anesthesia providers are one significant source of contamination in the operating room.
In 11.5 percent of the procedures, researchers found bacterial transmission to the valves of intravenous lines. Anesthesia providers accounted for nearly half (47 percent) of those incidences. Transmission of bacteria to the operating room occurred in 89 percent of the cases. The overall finding disclosed 66 percent of the providers had one or more major pathogen contaminating their hands.
Providers typically use accepted techniques for infection control. What this study shows is that anesthesia clinical quality must represent more than just the current baseline regulatory and accreditation requirements.
Clinical quality should measurably capture and improve upon the performance, processes and outcomes associated with each and every patient’s anesthetic care experience. Clinical quality excellence is achieved through the development of best practices and adherence to evidence-based clinical standards.
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