Nerve Blocks and Image Guidance

Physician speaking to a patient

Image guidance improves accuracy, clinical outcomes

After an extensive consultation, Council approved a new OHP Standard to support the safe and effective use of nerve blocks to treat adult chronic pain in Out-of-Hospital Premises (OHPs).

The new OHP Standard has been revised significantly in response to consultation feedback. The revised version now identifies a narrower set of instances where image guidance is needed and requires physicians to exercise judgment in other cases. Specifically, the Standard requires physicians use image guidance for all neuraxial, paravertebral and plexus nerve blocks.

For all other nerve blocks, the new OHP Standard states that physicians must consider whether image-guidance would be beneficial and lists a number of factors for consideration.

During the consultation, CPSO’s draft Standard was supported by a number of health organizations, academic institutions and specialists in the space who stated the use of image guidance improves accuracy and clinical outcomes.

In recognition of the practice changes that flow from the Standard, OHPs will be given six months to fully comply with the image guidance requirements.