Take action to protect safe VA care

ASA_logos_round2During the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2015 annual meeting, ASA members will have a unique opportunity to take action to protect safe VA care — the first time members have been offered the opportunity to participate in a top advocacy initiative on site. As leaders in patient safety, ASA members will be asked to act on behalf of their patients and specialty by preparing comments in anticipation of the release of the proposed VHA Nursing Handbook.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to advance the VHA Nursing Handbook, which could remove physician anesthesiologists from Veterans’ care. The Handbook has not yet been released, but ASA is taking preparatory steps by collecting comments about the importance of providing Veterans with the high-quality, safe care they have earned and deserve. ASA expects that this Handbook could be released by the end of 2015. Once the Handbook is released, the comments drafted during the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2015 annual meeting will be submitted to the official record to promote safe, physician-led anesthesia care within VA.

At the engagement areas, ASA members can pre-draft their comments for the Handbook’s publication. It’s important that all ASA members and supporters engage on the threat posed by removing physician anesthesiologists from Veterans’ care. If you are unable to visit a kiosk, please go to www.safevacare.org to take action online.

ASA members are asked to urge VA to ensure that physician-led anesthesia care is maintained in the VA. When seconds count, physician anesthesiologists, with 12 to 14 years of education and 14,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training, serve a critical role in providing safe anesthesia care. Changes to the anesthesia policy are already opposed by the VA’s own Chiefs of Anesthesiology, prominent Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), the medical community and a bipartisan group of 90 members of Congress. Veterans have earned and deserve safe, high-quality medical care in VA facilities.


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