The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in wide-ranging challenges for healthcare practices and ambulatory surgery centers nationwide. Some facilities that relied on elective procedures for a majority of their income had to reduce hours, lay off employees, or close completely when those surgeries were deferred. But a surprising silver lining of the pandemic is that it has revealed the significant benefits of regional anesthesia.
In the 2020 joint international e-Congress of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and the European Society of Regional Anaesthesia & Pain Therapy, Jennifer Noerenberg, MD, spoke about how she has seen colleagues around the world gain an appreciation for the value of regional anesthesia services and those who provide them.
“Almost unanimously, they mentioned how much the pandemic has brought regional anesthesia to the forefront because it has allowed them to provide anesthesia while avoiding airway manipulation for many procedures that otherwise would have required general anesthesia,” said Noerenberg, a partner physician at the Southern California Permanente Medical Group.
Regional anesthesia is a safe, effective type of pain management that poses fewer risks than general anesthesia. Research has shown that regional anesthesia is associated with fewer complications, lower mortality rates, and lower costs than general anesthesia. Using regional anesthesia also reduces the length of a patient’s hospital stay, which frees up beds and equipment for critical patients and minimizes the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among surgery patients.
By choosing regional anesthesia in place of general anesthesia when appropriate, healthcare facilities can achieve three goals:
- Improving the safety of patients and healthcare workers
- Providing reliable surgical conditions
- Preserving respiratory function in patients
This is all good news for ASCs that want to improve efficiency, profitability, and patient care by outsourcing anesthesia. Staffing challenges often prevent surgery centers from reaching their clinical, operational, and financial goals.
CarePlus provides ASCs access to a national database of more than 80,000 anesthesia providers, searchable by skillset and scheduling preferences. Learn more about CarePlus’ guaranteed anesthesia coverage and headache-free staffing.