As a growing number of patients turn to ambulatory surgical centers for convenient, cost-effective treatment, the need for reliable anesthesia services will also grow. Anesthesiologists can help screen patients to ensure they’re good candidates for outpatient care, and provide the highest level of professional anesthesia care, making them invaluable members of an ambulatory care center team.The Rise of Ambulatory Care Forty years ago, doctors performed nearly all surgical procedures in ho…
As a growing number of patients turn to ambulatory surgical centers for convenient, cost-effective treatment, the need for reliable anesthesia services
will also grow. Anesthesiologists can help screen patients to ensure they’re good candidates for outpatient care, and provide the highest level of professional anesthesia care, making them invaluable members of an ambulatory care center team.
The Rise of Ambulatory Care
Forty years ago, doctors performed nearly all surgical procedures in hospitals. Patients often waited weeks or months to have a procedure, and they usually spent several days in the hospital. This proved highly inefficient and costly, and, as medical technology improved surgical safety and reduced recovery times, a new option arose – ambulatory surgical centers.
The first ambulatory care facility opened in 1970, established by a pair of doctors in Arizona who saw a chance to offer a high-quality, inexpensive alternative to inpatient hospital surgical services. The idea caught on, as patients, doctors, and health care administrators realized the advantage of fewer scheduling issues, improved facility availability, and increased convenience to patients.
Today, outpatient surgeries account for the majority of surgical procedures performed in the U.S. According to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, in 2012, about 65 percent of all surgeries performed at community hospitals in the U.S. were performed at ambulatory care facilities.
The most common surgeries performed on an outpatient basis include:
- Lens and cataract procedures
- Cholecystectomy/common duct exploration
- Transurethral excision; drainage; or removal urinary obstruction
- Excision of semilunar cartilage of knee
- Hernia repair
- Skin graft
- Laminectomy/excision intervertebral disc
- Decompression peripheral nerve
Anesthesia’s Role in Ambulatory Care
Much of the success of ambulatory care in offering a more convenient, cost-effective option to patients and doctors is attributable to improving anesthesia technology and techniques. Modern local anesthetics, peripheral nerve blocks, and regional anesthesia allow physicians to safely sedate patients and manage their pain without the long recoveries associated with older techniques.
Anesthesiologists play a critical role in providing safe ambulatory surgical center care. Anesthesiologists help evaluate patients to ensure that they are good candidates for outpatient surgery, ensuring that they are in sufficient health to undergo the type of anesthesia the procedure calls for. Also, anesthesiologists evaluate medications patients may be taking to ensure no negative interactions between them and anesthetics will occur.
During the procedure, anesthesiology professionals will administer anesthetic drugs and monitor patients to ensure anesthesia is giving no ill effect. Should something go wrong, the experience and know-how of an anesthesiology doctor or nurse can be invaluable to correcting the situation and avoiding negative outcomes.
Strategy Anesthesia partners with a variety of medical practices to provide reliable, clinically competent anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists. By working with Strategy Anesthesia, practices can offer a broader range of procedures in house, allowing them to provide more personalized care directly to their patients. Based in California, Strategy Anesthesia also has offices in Dallas, Texas; Cleveland, Ohio; and Montgomery Village, Maryland. To learn more, call (888) 398-6234.