Articles  |   April 2019
Anesthesia Quality Meeting: Enhancing Patient Safety
Author Affiliations
  • Joseph W. Szokol, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., FASA
    ASA Committee on Practice Management
Article Information
Patient Safety / Quality Improvement / Articles
Articles   |   April 2019
Anesthesia Quality Meeting: Enhancing Patient Safety
ASA Monitor 4 2019, Vol.83, 28-30.
ASA Monitor 4 2019, Vol.83, 28-30.
Enhancing patient safety has been a core principle for anesthesiologists, and ASA is recognized as a national leader in patient safety. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (now recognized as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) published a report titled To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.1 The intent of the report was to emphasize “that ‘error’ that resulted in patient harm was not a property of health professionals’ competence, good intentions or hard work…” but rather was “a property of a system of care.” In that report, the medical specialty of anesthesiology was the only specialty of medicine specifically cited as an exemplar of progress in patient safety. “Anesthesia is an area in which impressive improvements in safety have been made…. The gains in anesthesia are very impressive and were accomplished through a variety of mechanisms, including improved monitoring techniques, the development and widespread adoption of practice guidelines, and other systematic approaches to reducing errors.” Over the past decades, anesthesiologists have initiated a multitude of patient safety initiatives, including the ASA Closed Claims Project, Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) and the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR). Each of these efforts has been designed to reduce preventable medical errors, thereby improving patient safety and the quality of care delivered.
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