Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network have launched a collaborative effort among hospitals across the state to improve anesthesiology practices, reduce anesthesiology-related complications, and improve patient outcomes.

The University of Michigan Health System will serve as the coordinating center for this new anesthesia-focused Collaborative Quality Initiative (CQI). This is the 15th hospital-based effort in the Michigan Blues' CQI program, a collection of initiatives using data and collaboration to improve common and costly areas of medical and surgical care.

Anesthesiologists, with their surgeon partners, will analyze variation in anesthesiology processes and techniques and develop best practices to prevent and reduce complications. Participants will review a wide range of data to analyze and develop best practices, following the already successful CQI model.

Areas of focus will include:

*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

*Patient preparation for different surgical procedures, to improve their own safety

"We're going to look at every anesthesiology care process to develop safer systems and recommended guidelines for anesthesiology care," said Sachin Kheterpal, M.D., project director for this initiative and associate chair for clinical affairs and quality in the Department of Anesthesiology at the U-M health system. "This is a multi-site collaboration, so we'll have data from procedures at many different hospitals across the state. This gives us real-world data so we can more accurately find patterns and make recommendations."

The partnership recently reported that CQIs in general surgery, bariatric surgery, angioplasty, vascular conditions, and cardiac surgery saved $597 million in healthcare cost savings, and lowered complication and mortality rates for thousands of patients. Collectively, the CQIs analyze the care given to over 200,000 Michigan patients annually.

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