Hospitals have been struggling for years to ensure adequate anesthesia coverage, but COVID-19 may be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
Anecdotally, the pandemic has spurred thousands of anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to retire early, change jobs or cut back hours. There is not an adequate supply of anesthesia providers to meet the needs of hospitals and ASCs. Hospital leaders are now facing extreme challenges as they attempt to secure an adequate anesthesia workforce.
There is no single solution to the anesthesia crisis. Healthcare leaders need a multipronged strategy that addresses every aspect of anesthesia coverage.