Features  |   September 2019
Accreditation or No Accreditation – That Is the Question
Author Affiliations
  • Dolores Njoku, M.D.
    Committee on Surgical and Procedural Anesthesia
  • Chris R. Giordano, M.D., FASA
    Chair, Committee on Surgical and Procedural Anesthesia
Article Information
Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   September 2019
Accreditation or No Accreditation – That Is the Question
ASA Monitor 9 2019, Vol.83, 20-22.
ASA Monitor 9 2019, Vol.83, 20-22.
Every year, approximately 50 million anesthetics are performed in the U.S., and an increasing number of these anesthetics include ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks. Although it is difficult to estimate the exact number of these blocks performed on a yearly basis, every anesthesiologist recognizes their value as an integral part of our practice. Led by the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) and the European Society of Regional Anesthesia (ESRA), education and practice guidelines have been developed to enable skilled practitioners to perform specialized procedures with efficiency, accuracy and remarkable dexterity. Additionally, these organizations have been instrumental in providing guidelines on recommendations pertaining to the initial implementation of an ultrasound-guided practice for regional anesthesia that includes the methodology for proper billing of these procedures. These guidelines enumerate for anesthesiologists who may not be trained in regional anesthesia the requisites for appropriate billing: 1) a documented surgical request (or physician order) that the block be performed for postoperative pain management, 2) a proper procedure code, 3) proper documentation of the block and 4) when possible, perform the block outside of the O.R. prior to the induction of anesthesia. This latter item can be particularly difficult in pediatric regional anesthesia. Nevertheless, this educational initiative spearheaded by ASRA, ESRA and ASA is a great accomplishment and example of the role these organizations can have in maintaining high quality in anesthesiology practice and, specifically, ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia.
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