Anaesthesia and Perioperative

The Statewide Anaesthesia and Perioperative Care Clinical Network (SWAPNET) was established in 2007 in response to a request by clinicians working within anaesthesia and perioperative care to improve anaesthesia and perioperative service delivery in Queensland.

The network is led by a multidisciplinary steering committee with geographical and service delivery representation including anaesthetists and perioperative nurses, an anaesthetic support officer, rural generalist, pharmacist and consumer, obstetrics anaesthetist, paediatrics anaesthetist, digital hospital representatives, college presidents / delegates, Chair of the Queensland Perioperative and Periprocedural Anaesthetic Mortality Review Committee (QPPAMRC), Chair of the Statewide Surgical Advisory Committee and President of the Private Hospitals Association or delegates.

The SWAPNET Steering Committee meets every six weeks and is co-chaired by Dr Ivan Rapchuk, Staff Specialist Anaesthetist, The Prince Charles Hospital and Ms Sandra Lenehan, Executive Director, Specialty and Procedural Services, Gold Coast University Hospital.

Communication, collaboration and consensus underpin all decisions made by the steering committee on behalf of the network.

The role of the network

  • Identify and drive initiatives to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of anaesthesia and perioperative care in Queensland.
  • Provide expertise, direction and advice to the Department of Health in relation to anaesthesia and perioperative care-related service planning and emerging issues at the local, statewide and national levels.
  • Provide expertise, direction and advice to clinicians caring for patients within the domain of anaesthesia and perioperative care services.
  • Develop an open and supportive environment for clinicians and consumers in relation to anaesthesia and perioperative care in Queensland.
  • Foster education and research in anaesthesia and perioperative care best practice.

Current priorities

  • Anaesthetic Benchmarking System – Obstetrics – to inform best practice and support the timely involvement of the anaesthetic team in the management of obstetrics patients.
  • Difficult Airway Alert – to reduce the risk of future airway morbidity in at risk patients.
  • Enrolled Nurse Upskilling Program – building on the Transition Support Program to deliver a comprehensive suite of blended learning programs for registered nurses and enrolled nurses working and/or choosing to work in the perioperative environment in Queensland public hospitals.
  • Management of older persons in the perioperative environment – a collaboration between SWAPNet, Statewide General Medicine Clinical Network and Statewide Older Persons Clinical Network to improve the management of older persons presenting for surgery.
  • Optimising Opioid Prescribing – a systematic approach to improving opioid prescribing practices in Queensland Health facilities.
  • Pre-anaesthetic Evaluation Framework – to support the appropriate and effective triage and assessment of patients undergoing procedures requiring an anaesthetic.
  • Queensland Drug Shortage Protocol – a collaboration between SWAPNet and Central Pharmacy to ensure anaesthetists are informed of pending drug shortages in a consistent and timely manner.
  • Queensland Perioperative and Periprocedural Anaesthetic Mortality Review Committee (QPPAMRC) outcomes review - to identify opportunities to improve anaesthetic practice and patient outcomes in Queensland Health facilities.
  • Quality Focused Interventions for the Relief of Symptoms Team (QFIRST). A multidisciplinary model of care to improve the management of high risk patients by providing seamless continuity of care from decision to intervention that aligns with the patients goals for recover (right care in the right place at the right time).
  • Rural Perioperative Team Training Program – to improve operating theatre performance, communication and culture and safe, sustainable service delivery in rural and remote Queensland.
Last updated: 27 August 2018