Ep 149: Quality of Care Studies in Anesthesia – Fact vs Myth

For the past 50+ years, numerous quality of care studies have been published that evaluated outcomes based on the anesthesia provider. These studies have produced great data but some of the research methods and findings were flawed. That’s been used by the ASA and AANA to promote agendas. We’ve invited Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, back on the show to tell us about the different studies through the years and sort out the difference between fact and fiction.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

The healthcare industry relies on studies and research to continue improving and growing the quality of care, but some of results in the area of anesthesia haven’t always been perfect.

On this episode of the podcast, we want to take another historical look at the profession and learn from the past. Our resident historians, Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, are back to teach about the most notable studies that have been done regarding anesthesia over the past 50+ years. Not everything from these studies is exactly accurate so we’ll rely on them to also help us sort out the fact from fiction.

As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Why these studies are so important
  • What the early studies found
  • The memories Sandy has from that time when she was AANA president.
  • What the Silber study showed and how it was published
  • The analysis done by Dr. Michael Pine and the article he published about surgical mortality
  • Noteworthy quality of care studies of the 2000s
  • Studies on the OB population
  • What do we know today based on these studies through the years?
  • What the AANA offers members to help them learn more about these studies.
  • Why it’s so important that we keep producing data and continuing this work.

Link to Quality of Care in Anesthesia from AANA

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

4:27 – An overview of the studies and findings

6:58 – Studies from the 1970s and 80s

10:58 – Bechtodt study

14:48 – When Sandy was president elect  

17:30 – The Silber Study

24:00 – Flawed results

26:45 – Analysis by Dr. Michael Pine

31:48 – Abenstein and Warmer article in 1996

32:27 – Vila Study in Archives of Study

33:17 – Dulisse & Cromwell study

38:15 – Needleman study in 2008

39:41 – Simonson study in 2007

41:15 – What do we know now in 2021?

43:05 – How to learn more

48:04 – We need to keep producing data

53:21 – The future is quality, cost and access

“It should be noted that no studies to date that have addressed anesthesia care outcomes have found a significant difference in outcome based on whether the anesthesia provider is a CRNA or an anesthesiologist.”

-Sandy Ouellette, CRNA





CRNA Careers

Get Gritty With It: How CRNAs Can Reduce Burnout and Achieve Long-Term Goals

Burnout has always been an issue for nurses and CRNAs but the issue has risen ever since COVID and the added stress that’s put on the healthcare industry. What if there was a way to help individuals guard against it? Today we dissect the concept of grit with Michell Smith, CRNA and explore how passion and perseverance are not just buzzwords but critical tools for CRNAs striving to achieve their long-term goals.




Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneIniHeartRadio



J. Cross CRNA
Read More
This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
Read More
I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
Read More
I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
Read More
I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
Read More
If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.