Crossing the Medication Safety Chasm

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

February 10, 2016

Anesthesiologists have long played a role in advancing medication safety. More than 30 years ago, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) was launched as an independent organization with the vision that “no patient shall be harmed by anesthesia” (Stoelting, n.d.). Recognizing the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration, the APSF includes anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, nurses, manufacturers of equipment and drugs, regulators, risk managers, attorneys, insurers, and engineers.

Over the years, APSF initiatives to improve anesthesia-related medication safety have helped achieve a 10- to 20-fold reduction in mortality and catastrophic morbidity for healthy patients undergoing routine anesthetics. This, in turn, has led to the dramatically reduced insurance risk-relativity rating of anesthesiologists compared with other specialties (Stoelting, n.d.). But the work is not done.

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