New toolkit developed on sleep apnea

AAAHC Institute develops first in series for professionals

A new toolkit for healthcare professionals was created to enhance safety for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea and are undergoing outpatient surgery. Now available online, the "Ambulatory Surgery and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)" toolkit was created by the AAAHC Institute for Quality Improvement, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

"Since these patients may face complications, the information covers considerations for management of all stages of a patient's condition in ambulatory surgery from screening to post-discharge," said Naomi Kuznets, senior director and general manager, AAAHC Institute for Quality Improvement. "The toolkit is a helpful resource in an easy-to-read format."

Information in the OSA toolkit includes preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative considerations for optimum patient care and a screening tool for OSA risk. A helpful acronym, STOP-BANG, includes the most common symptoms of OSA: snoring, tiredness, observed apnea, pressure, body mass index, age, neck circumference, and gender.

Guidelines for safe anesthesia and recovery treatment are also explained. The toolkits are available online at AAAHC-accredited ASCs will receive a laminated copy by mail.

Additional toolkits are being developed, including one on deep vein thrombosis (DVT) assessment and another on fall prevention.