Usually, when anesthesia is administered in the operating room, only one patient can be treated at a time. With a block room, which is a designated space to administer regional anesthesia, parallel processing can be used. Multiple patients can receive regional anesthesia while other patients are having their operations in the operating room.
Prior to coming to Victoria, Dr. Gus Chan had worked at a Vancouver hospital that had a block room and had seen the efficiencies and improvements in patient care it could create. He sought to promote the creation of a block room in Victoria and received support from the South Island Medical Staff Association to build consensus among his colleagues, allied health care staff, and administrators.
Dr. Chan worked with colleagues including Anesthesiologist Dr. Jacques Smit, Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Duncan Jacks, PACU Nurses Karen Shute and Meghann Elliott, and Anesthesia Assistants Darren Chatten and David Richardson, as well as key stakeholders from Island Health including Jason Price, the SDC/PACU manager, Melanie Majore, the OR Manager, Alison Dormuth from Surgical Services, and Dr. Chris Hall, Executive Medical Director to develop the necessary infrastructure, staffing, documents, protocols and procedures for a block room trial at Royal Jubilee Hospital.
The 3 month block room trial began on May 11th 2020. During the trial, data will be collected to analyse efficiency savings in the PACU and OR, quality of analgesia, and patient and provider satisfaction.
Dr. Chan is thrilled that the project has reached the trial phase, saying that he and his colleagues appreciate the opportunity to administer more regional anesthesia and improve perioperative efficiency. He anticipates that the Victoria block room will enable them to recruit anesthesiologists to perform and promote regional anesthesia as a special interest in the future.
We thank him and his colleagues for their efforts thus far and wish them all the best in the coming months!