Bridging the Gap: Establishing a Working Relationship with Anesthesiology

Meet the Speaker:

Kathleen M. McMullen, MPH, CIC
Infection Prevention Specialist
Barnes-Jewish Hospital


IP Competency:  Proficient & Expert

Duration: 60 minutes      Available through: 12/31/2017


Traditionally, infection prevention (IP) efforts in the operating room (OR) have focused on nursing and surgical staff. However, a strong partnership with anesthesiology is also crucial to IP efforts in the OR. Our department has spent several years establishing a working relationship with anesthesiology. Our initial focus was on best practices for techniques used in the OR, such as sterile technique for central line insertion and proper care of invasive devices. We use several venues to share information, including a yearly education program for all staff, and monthly education programs for new staff. These in-person sessions allow anesthesia personnel to ask clarifying questions, and work through situations where it is difficult to comply with recommended best practices. Monthly educational articles are shared through an anesthesiology newsletter. These short summaries allow one area of concern to be highlighted each month, helping to maintain the focus on IP-related issues throughout the year. IPs complete OR observations several times each month, and anesthesia personnel are specifically observed performing central line insertion, Foley catheter maintenance, and hand hygiene. To promote transparency and foster a collegial relationship, IP has implemented real-time feedback to the anesthesia personnel about deficiencies. Monthly summaries of compliance are given to anesthesiology administration, and areas of concern are discussed. These processes have contributed to steady increases in compliance with best practices. The credibility our department has built with anesthesiology has allowed us to tackle some more challenging topics. Recently, we have been working toward increasing compliance with contact isolation both in and outside of the OR, as well as discussing appropriate technique for transport of patients between the OR and holding or other areas of the hospital. Overall, our continued efforts have resulted in a better relationship, which leads to better care for our patients.

Learning Objectives:

  • Utilize ideas offered to increase focused education to anesthesia personnel
  • Use the anesthesia section of the OR observation tool presented as a template
  • Build the basis of a working relationship with anesthesia providers in their institution

Group Site License: Registration includes one internet connection and one telephone connection at one location and an unlimited number of participants from your organization in one listening room.

Please note CE is no longer available for this program.


Recorded 04/30/2014
Recorded 04/30/2014
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