If you were to ask many Californians if they would go to New York in December, they might look at you as if you were crazy. The cold weather, the crowds, and the non-stop frenetic activity put many people off.
For CSA leaders, however, traveling to New York in December is an opportunity to meet and network with the leadership of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists (NYSSA), our sister professional society. Every year we host the president of the NYSSA at our Annual Meeting, and the NYSSA hosts the CSA president at their annual PostGraduate Assembly (PGA) in Manhattan. Attending these meetings is generally one of the high points of the year for each president.
|CSA and ASA leaders Linda Hertzberg, MD,
Paul Yost, MD, Linda Mason, MD, and Dan Cole, MD
This year the CSA representation in New York was a bit larger. In addition to CSA President Paul Yost, MD, in attendance were ASA President-Elect Dan Cole, MD, ASA Secretary Linda Mason, MD, CSA President-Elect James Moore, MD, California’s ASA Director Michael Champeau, MD, and Alternate Director, Linda Hertzberg, MD.
On Friday, Dec. 12, Dr. Moore, who was recently certified as a specialist in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, was invited to speak as part of a panel on “Technology: Applications to Enhance Anesthesia Practice.” He discussed some general principles of electronic health record (EHR) management, including system selection, support structure, and key components necessary for smooth implementation. Dr. Moore stressed the importance for anesthesiologists to be leaders in clinical informatics and in health system administration in order to guide successful EHR transitions.
Saturday morning brought the opening ceremony, which featured the Julliard Jazz Ensemble playing the iconic New York piece “Take the A Train” to start the day. Following the Jazz Ensemble was the 30th Annual Robertazzi Memorial Panel, moderated by Paul Barash, MD. The panel featured engaging and heated pro-con debates on the subjects of “The Hemodynamically Unstable Patient: Is Etomidate the Induction Agent of Choice?” and “Is Anesthesia Safer?”
Later that day and on Sunday, CSA leaders attended the NYSSA House of Delegates (HOD) as guests. ASA President John P. Abenstein, MD, spoke to the HOD, emphasizing that one of the primary goals of the ASA is to improve the quality of anesthesia care delivered to our patients.
The ASA continues to have grave concerns regarding the proposed Veterans Health Administration’s initiative for independent practice for all advanced practice nurses including nurse anesthetists, Dr. Abenstein said. The new nursing handbook reflecting these changes may be released in the Federal Register in the near future. Should that happen, there would be a comment period on the proposed changes.
Dr. Abenstein stressed that it is imperative that each and every ASA member heed the call to action when the new nursing handbook is issued, and give comments through the appropriate federal process. ASA will provide guidance on how to do this. As physician leaders in the process of preserving and improving the quality of anesthesia care, it is imperative that we assist our veterans in retaining access to physician-led anesthesia care.
ASA President-Elect Daniel Cole, MD, reinforced the idea that quality and safety are not improved by denying access to physician-led care for our veterans. In his talk to the HOD, Dr. Cole gave examples of how the ASA is leading the way in quality, safety, and innovation in the delivery of anesthesia care, including:
- The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF)
- The Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI)
- The Perioperative Surgical Home (PSH) initiative.
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