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Recognizing Outstanding Evidence-Based Research in the Field: PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 2016 Poster Award Winners

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of the ASA Monitor.

The Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) is dedicated to promoting research in all areas of the specialty. For the past five years, FAER has partnered with ASA to provide cash prizes for the most outstanding research posters presented at the PRACTICE MANAGEMENT meeting. These poster awards are part of our effort to recognize exemplary evidence-based research in the field. FAER aims to support scientific discovery and knowledge application in all aspects of anesthesiology practice with the unifying goal to advance medicine through anesthesia research and education.

Congratulations to the 2016 winners – who include a fourth-year medical student, a resident in training and a junior faculty who recently completed fellowship training – yet another sign that our specialty is in good hands for the future.


First Place
: Trent Emerick, M.D.
Perceived Work Hours Versus Actual Work Hours in a Large Multi-Specialty Hospital
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Second Place: Mark Coutin, B.A.
Short Survey and a New Scoring System of Outpatient Pre-Anesthesia Assessment and Screening Process Results in Differentiation of Scores Among a Variety of Facilities
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas

Third Place: Michael P. Zaccagnino, M.D.
Application of Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing to a Proposed Perioperative Pathway for Chronic Pain and Opioid Tolerant Patients
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

It is notable that Dr. Emerick, Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has received an award from FAER for his research at four out of the past five PRACTICE MANAGEMENT events. In 2012, he received second place for his study “From Idea to Innovation: Hurdles and Milestones in Developing a Scholarly Points Website.” In 2014, he received third place for “Operating Room Performance Improvement Across a Large Multi-Hospital Health Care System,” and in 2015 he received third place for “Worked Hours per 100 Surgical Minutes as a Performance Improvement Metric Across a Large Multi-Hospital Health Care System.”

“My current research interests and projects include operating room efficiency research and queue line theory, the impact of smoking cessation on chronic pain patients and the use of preoperative surveys to stratify patients best suited for outpatient ambulatory surgery centers,” said Dr. Emerick. “I am also interested in interventional cancer pain and craniofacial pain procedures in the chronic pain setting.”

His recent award-winning project extends our knowledge on work hour analysis for anesthesiologists in the operating room. “It provided a new quantitative description of expected (calculated) work hours, actual work hours and perceived work hours in a graphical format,” he said. “Any practice manager could use this study as a blueprint to understand the work hour dynamics at their own institution.”

Dr. Emerick’s retrospective study demonstrated “a possible difference between perceived worked hours per shift and actual worked hours per shift for anesthesiologists in a large academic medical center setting,” which means that a practice manager should rely on more than only self-reported work hour survey data to understand staffing levels.

“Managing a practice is becoming synonymous with being an anesthesiologist,” Dr. Emerick said. “Almost all anesthesiologists at some point are involved with working in a leadership role in their practice whether through planning staff room assignments or scheduling or medical decision-making. I expect the basics of practice management will become a more integral part of resident education as well. In the Surgical Home Model, it is critical to maximize our personnel and resources and present our profession as forward-thinking, cost-effective physicians determined to improve patient care.”