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Thurston Shagarabi YIR“We strive to optimize the perioperative care of our patients by building and promoting an inclusive, respectful, and fulfilling anesthesia care team.”

Less than five years ago when the Anesthesia Care Team Optimization Committee (ACTOC) was formed, this mission may have seemed lofty for the institution and unheard of by colleagues across academic medical centers. Now with a diligent, compassionate group of anesthesia faculty, residents, and certified nurse anesthetists, the mission is being acted upon and tangible changes are being made to improve our teams as well as our patients’ care.

“Our ACTOC journey has been truly exceptional! It is so exciting to see us truly ‘leading and blazing the trail to unparalleled perioperative team care,’” says Brenda Carlisle, MSHA, BSN, RN, CENP, CEO of UAB Hospital. “As we captured our wins and accomplishments last year, it was amazing to see the attributes—scholarship, evidenced-based best practices, teamwork, innovation, and collegiality—that our teams are currently living and using to lead us into the future. These ultimately create excellence in patient care.”

Below are highlight from the progress made by ACTOC this year.

Team Gatherings: ACTOC began hosting quarterly joint journal clubs after hours to bring together colleagues for networking and education. Topics included patient safety in anesthesia, trauma resuscitation and anesthesia, and others. The committee also launched team meals at work, where groups could gather to break bread and get to know one another. Most recently, ACTOC hosted its first lunch and learn with department Chair Dan Berkowitz, MB BCh.

OR Checklist: After many months of consultation and review, ACTOC created an OR checklist for anesthesia care teams to collectively review before each case. These checklists are available to the teams in multiple facets, being posted on the anesthesia machines as well as in breakrooms. Additionally, the checklists include a QR code for team members to scan and give feedback in case issues arise or questions occur.

Journal Article: ACTOC is pleased to announce that leaders of the team were published in the Southern Medical Journal in a letter to the editor titled “Navigating Scope of Practice Tensions.” Congratulations to Matt Sherrer, M.D., MBA, FASA, FAACD; Brooke Vining, CRNA, MNA; and Andy Morris, MSN, on this outstanding accomplishment!

PICTURED: Kesha Thurston, DNP, MSHQS, CRNA, works alongside Anwar Shagarabi, M.D., to ensure the best possible patient care from our anesthesia care teams.