Innovation in anaesthesia

For Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Staff Specialist Professor Andre Van Zundert, the overwhelming growth of the profession highlighted a
need for more efficient ways to teach, analyse and access information for anaesthetists.

The professor leads the charge at the Centre of Excellence and Innovation in Anaesthesia (CEIA), a joint venture between RBWH and The University of Queensland established to achieve better education, research, communication, collaboration, governance and funding around the specialty.

“Similar to the aviation industry where pilots are trained for months to fly one particular type of a plane, anaesthetists administer anaesthesia every day in
theatre to a list of patients who are all different,” Prof van Zundert says. “Yet there’s sadly very limited exposure for anaesthetists in a simulator or skills lab.”

“With more than 130 airway devices on the market, it is impossible for any anaesthetist to try them all out. But in a skills lab we can collect them and collectively discuss pros and cons.

“Anaesthetists need to be trained better on practical issues, on a regular basis and on all sorts of devices, equipment, monitoring, drugs and emergency
situations to prevent or master complications in a much better way.”

Thanks to the RBWH and UQ partnership, CEIA will aim to do just that by ensuring the best industry knowledge is translated in practice and guides decision making that’s in the best interests of the patient. CEIA includes a simulation skills lab for anaesthetists to complete training on four skills stations including airway management, regional anaesthesia, vascular access and minimising drug error.

Recreating a patient experience in a clinical setting through simulation gives anaesthetists an opportunity to examine the strengths, weaknesses and areas for
improvement in current processes as well as their own skill sets.

CEIA Nurse Manager Lizanne Dalgleish says the simulation-based education is a rapidly developing method of supplementing and enhancing clinical education.

“The significance of simulation based skills development is the ability for health professionals to gain knowledge and technical expertise in an environment that removes stress, increases clinician confidence and protects patients from unnecessary risks,” she says.

CEIA will also play a key role in the assessment of medical equipment and technology using the skills stations to test medical devices as part of the Systematic
Analysis of Basic Equipment in Anaesthesia (SABEA) project, which aims to evaluate 12 groups of anaesthesia equipment in the first year. The assessment will
provide simple, standardised information to medical professionals—aiding decision making for optimal care, driving purchasing value and setting minimum standards for equipment.

Additionally, a Wiki-Anaesthesia website will complement existing medical literature, with the cooperation and assistance of anaesthesia societies and journals.
The site will be a process of collaborative research and exchange to optimise patient care through simplification, standardisation and optimisation of
anaesthesia information.

The CEIA is unique in Australia and a front runner in the anaesthesia world—the vital training will have significant flow-on benefits to the state’s capital and surrounding regional areas.

2017-11-27T05:04:53+00:0027 November 2017|
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