January 27, 2023
ASA Provides Direction on Proposed HHS Action Alliance to Advance Patient and Workforce Safety
This week, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) responded to a request for information (RFI) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) on their proposed Action Alliance. The Action Alliance seeks to improve patient and workforce safety across the national healthcare system.
ASA’s response to the wide-ranging RFI encouraged HHS to explore best practices for engaging patients in their safety, improving physician-patient communication, and developing solutions for workplace safety challenges. In addition, ASA advocated that the Action Alliance provide resources to ease health care professionals’ workflow burdens. On the issue of health equity, ASA emphasized the importance of physician-led, team-based anesthesia care and promoting greater access to care so that patients receive the care they need, when they need it, and in an appropriate facility setting.
ASA also highlighted the value of including an anesthesiologist in the Alliance to ensure that the perioperative experience is included when developing patient and workforce safety materials. ASA proposed that the Alliance also promote a culture of safety that encourages the reporting of adverse events and patient safety improvement efforts locally. On the issue of workforce safety, ASA stressed the need for a coordinated response to physician burnout as well as collaboration among federal agencies to standardize health care facility design around worker safety.
On the Quality Payment Program, ASA called for the Action Alliance to advocate against the removal of “topped out” quality measures for statistical reasons, as these measures can reflect crucial patient safety processes. ASA also believes that the Alliance could leverage patient-focused measures to obtain better information about health equity at the hospital and practice level.
Click here to read ASA’s full comment letter to AHRQ.
Please contact ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at [email protected] with any questions.