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Advanced Practice Provider Executives, Inc. - APPex

Anesthesiologists cheer Colorado Supreme Court ruling on surgery supervision [CO]

Posted over 3 years ago by Nicholas M Perrino

Do you agree with the anesthesiologists rationale in Colorado for requiring CRNA supervision?
1. to "protect patient safety in anesthesia care"
2. because physicians have "extensive medical education, years of clinical training and experience to make critical decisions that can save lives."

Interestingly enough, as the article notes, while there are "no independent studies that confirm nurse anesthetists can provide the same outcomes and quality of care as physicians and their education and training does not compare", there are also no studies that show CRNA outcomes and quality are any less than their anesthesiologist counterparts. Moreover, the studies done on supervision of CRNAs by physicians show this supervision provides no added benefit, and in some cases can have negative effects. Are anesthesiologists ever trained on how to effectively supervise CRNAs? If so, who does this? How is competency assessed?

"The Colorado Medical Society and the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists brought suit against the governor in 2010 arguing the exemption was contrary to Colorado state law. A Colorado District Court ruled against the medical societies in 2011 and the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the lower court decision in 2012. Today's Supreme Court decision negates the major portion of the earlier rulings and reinforces the two medical societies' standing to challenge the Ritter decision in order to protect patient safety in anesthesia care.

Supervision of anesthesia care by a physician is vital before, during and after surgery to ensure the best and safest care. Nurse anesthetists play a valuable role in the team approach to anesthesia delivery but cannot replace a physician or provide anesthesia services without physician supervision. There are no independent studies that confirm nurse anesthetists can provide the same outcomes and quality of care as physicians and their education and training does not compare."

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