The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) http://www.aana.com/ applauded the Institute of Medicine (IOM) release of a new report identifying pain as a serious public health problem, and expressed appreciation and support for the IOM's initiative to improve pain care, education and research.
The 42,000 member AANA is a supporting organization of the Pain Care Act which authorized the undertaking of the landmark study.
Commissioned by the U.S. Congress, the IOM report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research, draws attention to the human and economic costs of pain, which it says is an epidemic affecting one in every four Americans.
Among many recommendations, the IOM committee which wrote the report is calling for "coordinated, national efforts of public and private organizations to create a cultural transformation in how the nation understands and approaches pain management and prevention." Some of the recommended changes can be implemented by the end of 2012 while others should be in place by 2015 and maintained as ongoing efforts. Read more about the IOM committee's recommendations here.
Ensuring patient access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care and pain management has long been the mission of the AANA, whose members are advanced practice registered nurses specializing in these areas.
"The AANA is extremely grateful to Congress for recognizing the need for this study and to the IOM for achieving such impressive results," said Christine Zambricki, CRNA, MS, FAAN, deputy executive director of the AANA. "The work done so far, and the work that lies ahead, has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of pain and offer relief for the millions of Americans who live with pain day in and day out. As an organization representing anesthesia specialists, many of our members practice in pain management settings so the AANA's support of this research is a natural association."
The ultimate goal of the IOM study is to lessen the toll in human suffering caused by pain, while identifying economical alternatives that reduce healthcare and lost-opportunity costs.
"CRNAs see firsthand the grave effects chronic pain has on patients. We anticipate that the study, along with the involvement of the IOM and leading healthcare and patient advocacy organizations that have already signed on to support this initiative, will encourage other organizations to join the cause of advancing pain management," Zambricki added.
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, IL, AANA is the professional organization for more than 42,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs administer approximately 32 million anesthetics to patients in the U.S. each year.