Patient-Provider Communication Important Factor in Anesthesia Safety Say Iowa’s Nurse Anesthetists PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Armentia Snyder   
Friday, 02 August 2013 13:39
NEWTON, Iowa – Open communication between patients and their anesthesia providers prior to surgery or other procedures helps ensure patient safety, according to the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists (IANA), the professional association representing more than 350 nurse anesthetists in Iowa. The IANA is committed to promoting patient safety through patient education and robust patient-provider communication.

When preparing for surgery or other procedures involving anesthesia, patients often feel nervous and find they are unable to ask questions or share information when discussing their health and medical treatment with their surgeon or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). In some cases, this occurs because patients feel afraid to contradict what they consider to be their provider’s authority. CRNAs throughout Iowa are making an effort to remove such deterrents that often hinder candid communication between a patient and provider.

“It is imperative that patients realize they have a voice and providers are there to listen and meet their needs. One of the largest components in patient safety and education is open communication,” said IANA President Troy Anderson, CRNA. “As CRNAs, everything we do is driven by patient safety. Patients should always feel comfortable discussing their presurgical questions and concerns with their CRNA, whether the topic pertains to types of anesthetics, course of treatment, pre-and post-surgical anesthesia expectations, or anything else that comes to mind regarding their anesthesia care.”

CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in 75 percent of Iowa’s hospitals, making them a vital healthcare resource to patients across the state. In addition, CRNAs are the sole providers of chronic pain management in 52 percent of Iowa’s hospitals, enabling pain patients to receive treatment close to home rather than having to travel great distances for care.

Since 2001, Iowa CRNAs have practiced without physician supervision, establishing a superior record of anesthesia safety and high-quality patient care that was confirmed by the 2010 study titled, “No Harm Found When Nurse Anesthetists Work Without Supervision By Physicians,” published in Health Affairs, the nation’s leading health policy journal. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs work in every type of setting where anesthesia is delivered, and have the authority to prescribe medications used before, during, and after the administration of anesthesia. They are equipped to oversee every detail pertaining to a patient’s anesthesia care.

About the Iowa Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1940, the IANA represents more than 350 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists. In 2001, Iowa became the first state to “opt out” of the Medicare physician supervision rule.
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