Defining standards for interventional pain management and accrediting facilities

The College’s Non-Hospital Medical and Surgical Facilities Program (NHMSFP) accredits private surgical and medical facilities within the province. The program ensures that accredited facilities meet high standards for surgical services and for other types of invasive procedures associated with greater risk to patients.  

Many of the intermediate¹ and advanced² interventional pain procedures require specific training and experience to ensure patient safety and quality outcomes. Due to the nature and complexity of pain services, the NHMSFP is developing standards for the accreditation of pain clinics. The purpose is twofold: to establish a process for accrediting these facilities, and the credentialing of physicians who will be performing procedures that carry potentially significant risk to the public; and to ensure that sufficient safety and quality measures exist in facilities performing these complex procedures.  

Of primary interest to the protection of the public are the necessary credentials required by physicians to perform complex procedures. The NHMSFP will be looking to the provincial credentialing and privileging dictionaries for guidance on this standard. (For more information on the privileging dictionaries, visit www.bcmqi.ca.) Physicians considering developing pain clinics for these intermediate pain procedures are directed to these dictionaries to ensure that they would meet the credentialing requirements. Physicians should also visit the College website for more information about the NHMSFP's accreditation standards

Accreditation does not apply to simple interventions such as trigger point and peripheral joint injections. 

Definition

  1. Intermediate: Performance of procedures that generally require the understanding and safety principles of using fluoroscopy or other medical imaging to guide needle placement (e.g. lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks, stellate ganglion blocks, thoracic and lumbar nerve root blocks and facet joints).
  2. Advanced: Performance of highly specialized procedures that are generally recognized as requiring the most advanced training and skills and are performed in hospitals (e.g. intrathecal infusion pumps testing, neuromodulation testing, implantation and maintenance).