August 14, 2009
Media Contact: Bob Shepard
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NEW WEB SITE AT UAB TO TRACK
DATA ON SEDATION SAFETY
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has launched a new Web-based data repository to examine the incidence of adverse events during procedural sedation and the conditions that exist during these events.
SafeSedation.org is an online site where health care professionals from facilities across the country can report on procedural sedation safety. The site has the ability to track metrics associated with procedural sedation and satisfies Joint Commission standards for tracking and notification of these events.
The number of noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures performed outside the traditional operating room has grown during the past several decades. These procedures performed in doctor’s offices, same-day surgery centers, procedural suites or other non-operating-room hospital sites usually do not require general anesthesia. Instead, procedural sedation is administered that enables the patient to tolerate the procedure while maintaining cardiorespiratory function. Procedural sedation may include a combination of sedative and analgesic agents and is administered by a medical professional who may or may not have formal training in anesthesiology.
“In general, we do not have good data on the incidence of adverse events associated with procedural sedation, which most often are respiratory in nature,” said Chad Epps, M.D., assistant professor of Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences and Anesthesiology. “Though many consensus guidelines pertaining to procedural sedation exist, there appears to be little evidence on which to base suggestions for the best practice of administering and monitoring procedural sedation.”
SafeSedation was developed by Epps and is supported by a grant from Oridion Capnography, Inc. The Web application was designed and built by Rich Weiser, an information technologist in the Department of Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences in the UAB School of Health Professions.
Users at participating facilities will complete a short, online case-report form for procedural sedation cases. The Web application transfers the information into a database that may be queried by program administrators at the participating institutions. The institution then may use the data for internal reviews of practices and standards or for reporting to accreditation agencies such as Joint Commission. The database also will track necessary interventions for procedural sedation events.
Epps will use the aggregate patient data, which has no patient identifiers, to take an across-the-board look at procedural sedation. “When enough institutions have reported their case data, we will be able to draw better conclusions about the safety of procedural sedation,” said Epps. “And we may find that changes are warranted in the way procedural sedation currently is administered and monitored.”
About Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences
The Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences in the School of Health Professions comprises nine academic programs essential to today’s health-care system. The programs in the department provide training for tomorrow’s health-care professionals in a variety of disciplines including the diagnosis of illness and disease, the administration of advanced treatment therapies and the performance of vital roles in the surgical suite and in the outpatient and inpatient health-care setting.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on second reference.
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