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  • By Steel City Anesthesia On Tuesday, September 07 th, 2010 · no Comments · In

    Is there a difference between Sedation and Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)? No matter what the procedure, every patient’s main concern is pain level, speed of recovery and quality of healthcare services. The debate over methods of sedation is an ongoing one. BUT, Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) has proven to be clinically safe, improve patient comfort and aid faster recovery. The biggest difference between Sedation and MAC is continuous monitoring. With Sedation, anesthesia levels in a patient’s system are not as heavily monitored and it often becomes a guessing game. With MAC on the other hand, a dedicated resource is watching patient vitals and monitoring status throughout the procedure from pre to post-op. At any point, there is full knowledge of exactly how much of the anesthetic drug is in a patient’s system. This rules out the chances of less than a required dosage or an overdose on anesthesia.    Key benefits of Monitored Anesthesia Care or MAC: Only a licensed anesthetist or CRNA assesses and manages the patient’s condition throughout the procedure. Continuous monitoring increases patient safety and comfort. MAC provides cost-effective pain relief. Even small doses of sedation medication can cause adverse physiological response. MAC requires a qualified CRNA or anesthetist who is trained to deal with any medical problems or complications that may arise during the procedure. The healthcare professional delivering MAC monitors the patient’s condition throughout the procedure and eliminates the need for additional medical staff during sedation or recovery. Improves efficiency, quality of medical procedures and number of patients a facility can serve. Hospitals, surgery/ambulatory centers and office-based physicians can better manage patient volumes by using MAC. While disturbing to know, it’s a fact that in some medical centers propofol sedation is not administered or monitored by a qualified anesthesia provider. Outsourcing your anesthesia services to an established provider like Steel City Anesthesia LLC increases patient safety and reduces your liabilities — a win-win situation for your healthcare facility and the patient. MAC can mean the difference between safe, top quality healthcare and increased risks of complications or even death from overdose. Remember what happened to Michael Jackson? Would you like to share your thoughts or observations about sedation vs. MAC? We’d love to hear from you on our blog.

  • By Steel City Anesthesia On Monday, August 30 th, 2010 · no Comments · In

    The top 3 reasons: Safety Savings Satisfaction Anesthesia outsourcing is not just a new buzz word in healthcare services —it means fast-in-fast-out procedures in a safe and efficient manner. Although still in its infancy, the demand for outsourced anesthesia services is growing fast. Healthcare facilities are challenged by the rising number of patients. They don’t have the budget to increase staffing. Clinically safe outpatient anesthesia offers a great solution! We have seen hospitals, surgery/ambulatory centers and office-based physicians continue to maintain high healthcare standards without increasing their overhead. On-demand anesthesia is their preferred choice because it delivers patient safety and comfort with great savings for the medical center. Here in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, many healthcare facilities have made the smart move to outsource their anesthesia services. They tell us how happy they are about the positive patient outcomes and cost-effective service this new anesthesia care model offers: “Anesthesia consultants have helped us expand our healthcare capabilities…” “Our hospital OR has registered an increased flow of patients without overburdening our own anesthesiologists.” “We can better focus on trauma cases because we now have the support of anesthesia consultants to meet our requirements in other important areas like endoscopy and colonoscopy services.” “Outpatient anesthesia uses Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) which induces sleep in 15 seconds. It has fewer or no side effects, so our patients have faster recovery.” “Our surgery/ambulatory center has shown a dramatic reduction in patient recovery times and a significant increase in capabilities. Anesthesia outsourcing has enabled us to provide quality medical services to many more people.” Physicians using office-based anesthesia are also seeing increased revenue as a result of the new anesthesia care models. Propofol usage monitored by a trained CRNA translates into painless procedures, happy patients and more referrals. Pain is often the main reason why patients fail to come for follow-up procedures. Outpatient anesthesia is a cost-effective way to eliminate pain and increase patient comfort. It helps facilities take on a higher number of outpatient procedures and thereby increases revenue for the medical center. In other words, Anesthesia Outsourcing = Increased Efficiency + Higher Profits. Have questions about anesthesia outsourcing? Post your comments on our blog. Or contact us about anesthesia consulting to expand your healthcare services.

  • By admin On Monday, August 23 rd, 2010 · no Comments · In

    In today’s economic downturn why should bailouts be the norm? We have all seen the infamous AIG bailout scenario and the debacle that it caused. The current healthcare cost debate is prime news on most news networks, and a simple Google search brings a multitude of articles debating the issue. Why is it necessary then for facilities to subsidize (bailout) it’s anesthesia groups? This hotly contested debate is centered around reimbursements to the anesthesia groups providing services. As governmental restrictions reduce the amount collected by medical providers and the number of providers decreases, creative solutions must be utilized to continue to provide quality healthcare. One solution that is currently being used by some 75% of anesthesia groups is to  bill and be reimbursed for the care rendered, but in addition require the facility in which they render these services to pay an additional stipend. This provides for the profitability of the anesthesia group, but at an added expense of the facility. This stipend based healthcare model is probably the simplest means for anesthesia groups to maintain viability in today’s marketplace. However, the recent changes to the Physician Supervision Requirement from CMS and many states ” opting out” has allowed another  model to be utilized to reduce costs for facilities.  It is much more cost effective and simple… bill for service. In this model, no stipend is required from the facility. This  simpler model may not be the right fit for every facility, but can be for a multitude of settings.  Every facility should at least take a look at it, as an option to possibly reduce costs without cutting care. Contact us if you require more information on this type of model or please comment through the blog.

  • By admin On Monday, August 16 th, 2010 · no Comments · In

    Did you realize that 20% of Americans still smoke? That is an amazing number considering that cigarette smoke has some 6000 identifiable constituents! Some of the constituents include: ammonia, arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and vinyl chloride. I don’t know about you, but that sounds appetizing! But what does this mean for the anesthetist working in the clinical setting? For starters, smoking increases the likeliness of an irritable airway and a greater potential for hypoxia. There are a few steps you can take to try and mitigate the effects smoking can bring to the table. A thorough pulmonary examination is a great start. Listen to the lungs and ask if there is a history of wheezing, coughing, and expectoration. Observe their passive breathing and note if there is clubbing of the nails. Are they short of breath just sitting in the pre-op area? This can be an indication of pulmonary disease and prompt the need for further evaluation. As a side note, if they have pulmonary disease it is very likely that they cardio-vascular disease as well. While doing your H&P, don’t hesitate to focus on this area as well. Next, take a look at the medications they are on. If they use inhalers, ask them about the last time they used them and how frequently they use them. This is another good indicator for potential problems during the procedure. Have them use their inhaler before the procedure. It never hurts to have the airways as open as possible prior to a procedure. Chuck Biddle, CRNA, has a great list of considerations for the smoker that include, abstinence for 24 hours if possible, bronchodilators, nicotine patch if possible, pre-oxygenate, and there may be a need for increased analgesia during the procedure. Also be aware that their FRC (functional residual capacity) may be diminished. This may lead to a state of hypoxia sooner than normally expected in a non-smoker. Be prepared! And finally, as anesthesia providers we have a unique opportunity to educate our patients about the deleterious effects of smoking. For a brief period of time the patient is a captive audience, don’t hesitate to seize this opportunity for education.

  • By admin On Thursday, August 12 th, 2010 · no Comments · In

    A recent article brought about some very important and simple symptoms that patients can use to evaluate their susceptibility to sleep apnea. In an article by Dr. Orly Avitzur  M.D., she describes the need for medical evaluation of loud snoring.  She stated up to 1 in 10 women and 1 in 4 men might have undiagnosed sleep apnea and the first symptom to look at is loud snoring . She further states that less than 15% know they have sleep apnea and most physicians don’t routinely inquire about it during office visits. Other symptoms that warrant further professional evaluation include, but are not limited to: High blood pressure Frequent morning headaches Day time drowsiness Frequent wake-ups Frequent morning sore throats Wake-ups with choking or gasping for breath Wake-ups in a sweat Overweight Loud snoring Sleep apnea increases a persons chance of high blood pressure , stroke and type 2 diabetes, but the most terrifying statistic Dr. Avitzur stated is there is an increased risk of death that is associated with having sleep apnea. Anesthesia providers especially need to be aware of any of the symptoms listed above prior to administration of any anesthetic, so please inform them before any surgery. Additional protocols may be implemented in the pre and post-op areas and drug regimes may be modified if the symptoms are present in a patient. Avoid anesthesia complications with sleep apnea by speaking with your physician. Check out this article on sleep apnea and same-day surgery for more information. As sleep apnea affects such a high number of people, we would appreciate any personal experiences with sleep apnea you could share on this blog.

  • By admin On Monday, August 09 th, 2010 · no Comments · In

    The adverse events rate is low when Propofol is administered by a trained professional such as a CRNA. In a recent article published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, a study was performed with  patients undergoing a variety of endoscopic procedures with sedative dosing administered by a CRNA. This article stated, “… this is the first paper to report the frequency of airway modification associated with the use of propofol in endoscopy.” The article continued to highlight the importance and need for trained personnel, such as CRNA’s, to monitor patients during sedation with propofol.  The conclusion by Sreenivasa Jonnalagadda M.D., the lead author of the article, confirmed ” … Highest-risk patients should be managed by nurse anesthetists trained in advanced airway interventions…” .  For further reference and information  please see the April 2010 Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal.

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