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Fall 2018, News, Anesthesiology

New Tools to Support Patient Safety in Anesthesia

Rachel BeckCVT, PMP

Rachel Beck is a certified veterinary technician and credentialed project manager on the Veterinary Medical Programs team at Banfield Pet Hospital. She currently leads a team of project managers who specialize in implementation. Having been in the veterinary field for over 15 years, she has served roles both in hospitals and at Banfield’s central office. She is passionate about engaging the whole veterinary team in proactive health and wellness as well as about career pathing for paraprofessionals in the industry. She resides in Portland, Oregon, with her significant other and 2 cats.

New Tools to Support Patient Safety in Anesthesia
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Banfield’s new veterinary program helps ensure anesthesia care is safe, effective, and efficient.

From the Field shares insights from Banfield Pet Hospital veterinary team members. Drawing from the nationwide practice’s extensive research, as well as findings from its electronic veterinary medical records database and more than 8 million annual pet visits, this column is intended to explore topics and spark conversations relevant to veterinary practices that ultimately help create a better world for pets.

At Banfield Pet Hospital, we acknowledge that anesthesia, along with sedation and immobilization, poses a high risk for patient safety. And we are committed to continual improvement of education and training materials available to the profession, including veterinary technicians and assistants.

In January 2018, Banfield launched a new anesthesia program, including Anesthesia and Analgesia for the Veterinary Practitioner: Canine and Feline and the introduction of Anesthesia Medical Quality Standards. Guidelines, protocols and Clinical Essentials have been developed from an evaluation of the current literature and consensus of board-certified veterinary specialists, and they align with other professional standards, whenever possible.1

Our anesthesia quality standards and updated protocols define processes of care and the requirements—based on current scientific knowledge—that help ensure the care we provide is safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable, and patient centered, resulting in the best possible outcomes.

Key highlights of Banfield’s new anesthesia program include:

  • Quality Standards
    • Key behaviors, responsibilities and tasks for teams to support medical quality and a patient-centered experience in the preparation, anesthetic delivery, and procedural recovery of each pet.
    • Anesthesia Machine Checklist and Pre-Induction Timeout Checklist to consistently support patient safety and team communication.
  • Learning Materials
    • Job aids with critical values, procedures and dosages to support each phase of anesthesia.
    • Protocol Quick Reference Guide with specific patient support requirements.
  • Tools
    • Anesthesia Dosage Calculator to guide medication dosages, fluid and oxygen flow rates and selection of weight-based anesthesia equipment and supplies.
    • Anesthesia Monitoring Form that aids in
      collecting key information to be captured in
      the medical record.

The primary intent of all recommendations is to support patient safety and minimize patient risk as much as possible, based on the best evidence currently available. Most importantly, if you implement any changes to your anesthesia program, remember that the goal is to maintain patient safety above all else. Set realistic expectations based on the experience, equipment, training and staffing that are available to each team.

To find Banfield anesthesia education tools and other resources, visit banfield.com under “Practice Resources.” For questions about this content or to provide feedback on your team’s usage of the kit, please contact [email protected].

1Note: Protocols are never meant to be followed blindly, and the veterinarian remains responsible for making medication decisions in the best interest of each individual patient.