Currently, nearly 70% of all surgeries in the United States are performed as outpatient procedures, with almost 23 million of these performed annually in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) alone (Natl Health Stat Report 2017;102:1-15). And the numbers continue to grow. Over 6,000 Medicare-certified ASCs now exist nationwide, and current estimates project an increase in ambulatory procedures by more than 25% over the next 10 years (asamonitor.pub/3UCLIEX). Fueled by the COVID pandemic, patients with higher acuity and medical complexity are being performed as ambulatory cases, and procedures such as total joint replacements, spine surgeries, cancer surgeries, and cardiac interventions are being moved from hospitals into ASCs.
“The annual meeting is also a great opportunity for residents and fellows to submit an abstract or quality improvement project for presentation since SAMBA provides monetary awards for the best submissions in three categories.”
The Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia (SAMBA), established in 1985 in response to the growing trend of ambulatory surgery, has been a pioneer in this movement from its inception. Our society provides high-quality education, resources, and support for practitioners of ambulatory anesthesia throughout the U.S. and around the globe. More recently, we have added office-based anesthesia (OBA) and non-operating room anesthesia (NORA) to our core focus.
This past May, we held our first post-COVID, in-person meeting at the beautiful Arizona Biltmore Hotel. The sessions included audience favorites like “Cases from the Real World,” pro-con debates, problem-based learning discussions, regional anesthesia workshops, and interactive panels. SAMBA will return to Phoenix and the Arizona Biltmore on May 17-20 for our 2023 annual meeting. We hope that many of you will be able to join us for what is sure to be another exciting educational opportunity! Our annual meetings have always been popular due to their smaller size, timely topics of interest, and lively audience participation and discussion! The annual meeting is also a great opportunity for residents and fellows to submit an abstract or quality improvement project for presentation since SAMBA provides monetary awards for the best submissions in categories of Excellence and Innovation, Original Research, and Safety. Additionally, a travel award is offered for the best original research abstract accepted for presentation. For residents, this is a great way to meet residency obligations as well as to increase knowledge and network with new friends and colleagues. Please refer to our website for additional registration and program information (asamonitor.pub/3BfZkPo).
We recently completed our first in-person ASC Medical Directors and Leaders Summit in Las Vegas in conjunction with the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA). This was an excellent educational option for anesthesiologists aspiring to or currently functioning in positions of leadership. Attendees also had the opportunity to participate in the ASCA's educational offerings, which included Billing and Reimbursement and Management Essentials for Administrators. While we have offered virtual medical director's meetings for the past several years, this in-person summit will likely become a staple for SAMBA and ASCA due to its popularity and enthusiastic response from attendees.
A new addition to our educational offerings this year is our “Did you know...?” feature. These twice-monthly emails and social media posts help to keep our members appraised of the most recent literature by highlighting informative articles relevant to the practice of ambulatory anesthesia. Selected articles are summarized, with recommendations for practice improvement offered based on the article's conclusions. Links to these and other relevant articles are available on SAMBA's website bibliography, which is updated and maintained by our Education Committee and is a great resource for the ambulatory anesthesia practitioner.
We also continue to offer free monthly webinars on relevant ambulatory anesthesia topics. Recent webinars include Kratom, Cannabis, and the Patient Undergoing Anesthesia, NPO Guidelines and Gastric POCUS in Pediatric Patients and Active Listening and Empathy for the Ambulatory Anesthesiologist. Members can access recorded videos of these webinars on our website if they are unable to join the live presentation.
SAMBA is collaborating with The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business to offer a fellowship for ambulatory anesthesiologists who aspire to positions of leadership or desire additional education in leadership and management. This fellowship begins in fall 2024 and will consist of 12-15 credit hours of coursework resulting in a Graduate Certificate in Business Strategy from the Fisher College of Business upon completion. If desired, completed credit hours can also be applied to a future MBA. The coordinator of the fellowship is SAMBA member Jarrett Heard, MD, Medical Director of Ambulatory Perioperative Services, and Director of Executive Leadership and Business in Anesthesiology Fellowship at The Ohio State University Medical Center. Those who are interested can obtain more information by emailing Dr. Heard at Jarrett.Heard@OSUMC.edu.
SAMBA's Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee has provided valuable information in the form of practice guidelines and position statements through the years. The committee continues its work in updating current guidelines as well as creating new ones. Our Preoperative Care of the Cataract Patient was published just over a year ago and has been widely quoted and utilized as a resource to guide practitioners in the care of patients undergoing cataract surgery (Anesth Analg 2021;133:1431-6). An updated version of our Perioperative Blood Glucose Management in Diabetic Patients Undergoing Ambulatory Surgery will be released later this year.
SAMBA's members are truly the heart and soul of the organization, with dedicated and talented professionals contributing to our mission in so many ways. If you are not already a SAMBA member, we encourage you to join us to experience all this society has to offer!