Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, U-M to Improve Anesthesiology Processes


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is teaming up with the University of Michigan Health System to improve anesthesiology practices, reduce anesthesiology-related complications, and improve patient outcomes.

“We’re going to look at every anesthesiology care process to develop safer systems and recommended guidelines for anesthesiology care,” says Dr. Sachin Kheterpal, project director for this initiative.

The U-M Health System will serve as the coordinating center for this statewide initiative, during which anesthesiologists — with their surgeon partners — will analyze variation in anesthesiology processes and techniques and develop best practices to prevent and reduce complications.

Specifically, participants will focus on exploring the best type of anesthesia for specific surgical procedures; benefits and usage of general, regional, and local anesthesiology;  safety measures regarding ways to bring a patient in and out of consciousness; effective ways to monitor a patient during a procedure; and patient preparation for different surgical procedures, to improve their own safety.

“This is a multi-site collaboration, so we’ll have data from procedures at many different hospitals across the state,” Kheterpal says. “This gives us real-world data so we can more accurately find patterns and make recommendations.”

This is the 15th hospital-based effort by the Michigan Blues to use data and collaboration to improve common and costly areas of medical and surgical care.

In addition to the anesthesiology initiative, there are 14 other hospital-based initiatives focusing on bariatric surgery, general surgery, angioplasty, vascular disease, cardiothoracic surgery, hospital medicine safety, blood clot management, breast cancer, trauma center quality, operating room safety, hip and knee replacement, spine surgery, surgical episodes of care and radiation treatment for cancer.

“Our recent reporting of five CQIs saving $597 million in health costs over a five year period demonstrates the potential impact creating these kinds of benchmarks can have on best practices and patient outcomes,” says David Share, senior vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.