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July 25, 2011

Every anesthesiology department and practice should have a copy of ASA’s Manual for Departmental Organization and Management (the “MADOM”), the “essential reference” for any department. This publication has long been one of ASA’s most underappreciated resources – but it certainly should not be.  The fact that it is free to members of the association is a benefit of membership, not a comment on its value.  Others may purchase a CD or download the MADOM for $100 from the ASA website.  

The 2010 edition represents many years of cumulative effort by the members of the ASA Committee on Quality Management and Departmental Administration, currently chaired by Walter G. Maurer, M.D.   The 2010 MADOM, edited by Peter J. Dunbar, M.B., Ch.B., M.B.A. contains the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1 - The Department of Anesthesiology
  • Chapter 2 - Delineation of Clinical Privileges in Anesthesiology
  • Chapter 3 - Standards, Guidelines and Statements for Patient Care in Anesthesiology
  • Chapter 4 - Quality Improvement and Peer Review in Anesthesiology 
  • Chapter 5 - Ambulatory Anesthesiology
  • Chapter 6 - The Joint Commission: What You Need to Know and What You Need to Show
  • Chapter 7 - Emergency Preparedness

There is a placeholder for an eighth chapter on “Managing Hot Topics in the Anesthesiology Department."  Beyond the rather dry titles of the other chapters are some very useful tools and references.  These include many of the standards, guidelines and statements formally adopted by ASA to define the duties, responsibilities, rights and ethical principles that apply to all ASA members. 

The table below lists, for each chapter, the major standards and other seminal documents referenced along with some of the key points with which anesthesiologists and administrators should be familiar.  The year in parentheses following a document’s title indicates the year in which the standard/guideline/statement was last approved by the ASA House of Delegates.  These documents are available at

The table above does not do justice to the huge collection of resources organized and referenced in the MADOM.  The manual is an indispensable guide to ASA standards and policies, to the national healthcare facility accreditation system, to credentialing, to clinical and billing documentation and to other quality-related matters.  It will point you toward polices that will be a deciding factor in almost every departmental management question that may arise in your practice.  Download the manual today if you don’t already have a copy, and be sure to watch for updates.

With best wishes,

Tony Mira
President and CEO