, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 215-222
Date: 10 Aug 2013

Quality Assurance in Regional Anesthesia: Current Status and Future Directions

Abstract

Quality assurance in healthcare, including regional anesthesia is a large subject encompassing a range of elements. In this review article we aim to define the meaning of quality assurance and address how it can be achieved. The role of clinical registries in monitoring safety by collecting and analysing data from large patient cohorts and reporting outcomes is explored. Registries and similar multicentre studies in conjunction with incident reporting and root cause analysis provide the foundation for many quality improvement processes. Educating and training anesthesiologists to the highest standards is of paramount importance to delivering high quality care. The evolution of new technologies including ultrasound has significantly advanced our clinical practice, improving the safety and efficacy of peripheral nerve blocks. We review the role that guidelines, checklists, teamwork and procedure specific protocols play in the prevention of errors and safe delivery of regional anesthesia in the modern era.