Explore UAB

"ACTOC has become a space where we can safely explore our anesthesia care teams in a group that has strong trust, professional respect, and friendship. The taskforces are built to encourage this mindset and provide fulfilling clinical engagement opportunities."
- Stacy Wade, M.D., ACTOC member

Teamwork Taskforce

The teamwork taskforce - led by Matt Sherrer, M.D., MBA, FASA, FAACD, and Andy Morris, BSN, MSN, CRNA - set out to create socialization opportunities between physician and CRNA colleagues. These are playing out in many scenarios, inlcuding journal clubs to discuss academic articles and simple Q&A sessions between care team members who don't know each other. "This doesn't have to be a tremendously complicated or academic exercise. Let's sit and talk and get to know each other," Sherrer says. "It doesn't take long to find out that we work with some really amazing people." 

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Education Taskforce

Collaboration sets the tone for the education taskforce. "The ability to partner with anesthesiologists on the front end will lead to lasting changes on the back end," says Kesha Thurston, DNP, CRNA. "It will improve processes for our patients and create a stronger anesthesia team." This group, led by Paul Pienette, M.D. and Thurston, is looking forward to holding joint journal clubs with the teamwork taskforce and integrating CRNAs into the department's Continous Quality Improvement (CQI) conferences. They are also working with the UAB Office of Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Clinical Practice to begin PIV/arterial line simulation.

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Clinical Taskforce

Perry Smith, M.D., and Gary Boutwell, DNP, CRNA, lead the clinical taskforce. Their team has begun to address communication deficits that affect an anesthesia care team's performance in patient safety as well as job satisfaction. "We have a great opportunity to optimize how anesthesia care is delivered by UAB Medicine," Boutwell says. "We have an even greater opportunity to be the national standard for collegiality and professionalism by sharing our work through the physicians and healthcare providers who will eventually move on to other healthcare centers and communities." In addition, the taskforce is creating a standardized checklist for the operating room, identifying what must be discussed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and early postoperatively by members of the care team.

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Scholarship Taskforce

The scholarship taskforce is led by Dan Berkowitz, MB BCh, and Melissa Ramsey, CRNA. Early on, this taskforce spent time researching and discussing what value it could bring to ACTOC. They determined it would be most beneficial to document the ACTOC process "in hopes of publishing the accomplishments of all of the ACTOC taskforces to improve relations amongst other anesthesia care teams throughout the country," Ramsey says. 

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