We all know the importance of teamwork. It’s something that we are taught from a young age — that better outcomes occur when we work together.
Anesthesia care is one area where it’s essential to recognize the importance of teamwork, especially in the complex and high-risk environment of the operating room. Why wouldn’t you want a team of trained professionals devoted to ensuring your safety while you undergo surgery?
Recently, the World Health Organization stated that anesthesia should be provided, led, or overseen by a physician anesthesiologist when and wherever possible. In Springfield, unfortunately, multiple bills have been introduced seeking to dismantle the anesthesia care team by allowing certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to practice without any physician supervision.
In response, those of us who want to keep the team together have formed Preserve the Anesthesia Care Team PACT. You can visit the PACT website here: https://pactillinois.org.
Removing a physician from anesthesia care puts patients at higher risk, diminishes the quality of care they receive and, incredibly, still costs the same! Physician anesthesiologists go through a minimum of eight years of medical school and specialized training; they know how to respond quickly when a critical event occurs.
Each player is a necessary component on a team providing the best care possible. As a physician, it’s my duty to make sure every patient receives the highest possible level of care. I urge Illinoisans to support physician-led anesthesia care. Let’s keep the team together.
William E. Hauter, M.D.
Associated Anesthesiologists, S.C.
Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists