BC Medical Association

BC Medical Association

June 30, 2011 12:12 ET

The BCMA Says Better Coordination of Surgical Care Needed in BC

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 30, 2011) - Improvements in BC's hospital operating rooms such as fewer surgical delays and cancellations and reduced infection rates can be achieved if we are smarter about how we manage our surgical care system says the BC Medical Association in a paper released today. While the majority of surgical care patients receive is excellent, problems do exist and they can take a toll on patients' health and wellbeing, be frustrating for physicians, and cost the healthcare system millions of additional dollars.

In its new policy paper, Enhancing Surgical Care – Improving Perioperative Quality, Efficiency, and Access, the BC Medical Association reviews issues common to most hospitals that negatively impact surgical care in the periods before, during, and after surgery. The BCMA recommends that standard procedures and best practices that apply to all hospital operating rooms in the province be developed and implemented.

"The solutions to making a patient's surgical experience better while also saving much needed financial resources are not very complicated, "says Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, Chair of the BCMA's Council on Health Economics and Policy that authored the paper. "It's time we try a structured and objective approach in which all surgical health care providers pull in the same direction to enhance quality, ensure cases start on time, reduce cancellations, and generally provide timely care efficiently,"

The surgical experience for many patients can be unnerving and stressful even without the additional concern of possible delays and complications. Enhancing surgical care in BC can be achieved with the active leadership and collaboration of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other surgical care providers working in partnership with patients, and supported by hospital administration.

The policy paper provides twelve recommendations to improve the surgical care that patient in BC receive. Key recommendations include:

  • Ensuring that the Surgical Safety Checklist and operating room team briefings are standard practice in all operating rooms across BC.
  • Establishing a panel to develop best practice guidelines, that include standardized measures and goals, that encompasses a patient's complete surgical experience (preoperative, surgery, postoperative processes) tailored to individual hospitals.
  • Supporting surgical care providers with the time, training, resources, and authority to be clinical champions and lead improvement teams to make sustainable changes.
  • Engaging and involving surgical patient representatives as partners to improve surgical care.

Ms. Rupinder Khotar, President of the Perioperative Nurses Association of BC, a member of the paper's project group says, "The concepts of perioperative quality, efficiency and access are not new, but attempts to address problems have often resulted in less than favourable outcomes because they do not tackle the root issues. It is time to encourage and support an objective, comprehensive and meaningful way of exploring quality perioperative patient care and promotion of system efficiencies."

The policy paper can be found on the BCMA website at www.bcma.org.

Contact Information

  • BC Medical Association
    Sharon Shore
    604-638-2832 or 604-306-1866 (pager)