Demographics and trends in nonoperating-room anesthesia

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Nonoperating-room anesthesia includes sedation or anesthesia for radiological imaging, cardiac catheterization, office-based surgery, and pediatric procedures or investigations, all of which have seen explosive growth over the last decade. This review discusses the factors that are driving this growth and the challenges we face as a profession to accommodate new practice paradigms.

Recent findings

Many departments have difficulty providing services for nonoperating-room anesthesia. A shortage of providers, insufficient reimbursement, and lack of institutional support have been identified as barriers limiting delivery of pediatric nonoperating-room sedation services. Practitioners from other specialties appear increasingly eager to provide sedation at an institutional level. The use of propofol by nonanesthesiologists is widespread, and the issue of provider credentialing has yet to be fully resolved. The shift to nonoperating-room locations will continue, driven by cost savings and convenience for patients and providers.

Summary

Nonoperating-room anesthesia will play a central role in anesthesia practice in the future. Provision of these services requires planning, personnel, and institutional resources. This should be a high priority for anesthesiology departments to ensure delivery of the highest quality of patient care in a cost-effective and organized manner.

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