ASA and ESA join forces – the International Forum on Perioperative Safety and Quality

ASA and ESA join forces – the International Forum on Perioperative Safety and Quality

  • Issue 71

Johannes Wacker, Chair, ESA Patient Safety and Quality Committee (PSQC)

There are many good reasons for traveling to Boston this October. We believe patient safety and quality are among the strongest arguments. While these important topics will also be a salient feature of the main programme of the 2017 Anesthesiology Annual Meeting, participants will experience the inauguration of an international forum entirely dedicated to patient safety and quality.

This forum is the result of initiatives that started within the ASA Committee on International Relations. They recognised that anaesthesiology has an established role as a leader in patient safety, but is currently also experiencing shifts towards extended responsibilities in the perioperative setting. A dedicated forum should, therefore, aim at increasing the focus on the actual translation of safety concepts into routine practice. In other words: increasing the focus on quality and practice improvement along the entire perioperative experience of surgical patients. A similar realisation has, of course, occurred in Europe and therefore cooperation with the ESA as the leading supranational society of anaesthesiology in Europe was sought. The two societies intend to host this forum alternately preceding ASA’s Anesthesiology Annual Meeting and ESA’s Euroanaesthesia Congress, respectively. Working groups of both societies have jointly elaborated a scientific programme for the inaugural meeting in Boston.

A number of important motives have generated the initiatives leading to this forum. First, a dedicated meeting represents a tribute to the preeminent importance that patient safety and quality improvement have gained over the last two decades within the medical community in general – and particularly in anaesthesiology. Second, these initiatives are based on the belief that collaborative efforts of leading professional societies such as ASA and ESA are needed for maintaining awareness of patient safety and quality issues on an international level, and for creating robust overarching frameworks for the practical implementation of safety and quality policies in the perioperative setting. Third, a meeting based on international views of patient safety and quality may also be useful for highlighting global safety and quality issues beyond the horizon of high income countries.

The scientific programme offers an attractive selection of panel lectures and interactive breakout sessions (Full programme) The keynote lecture “Anesthesiology’s Leadership in Patient Safety: Lessons from the Past and Planning the Future” will be given by Jeffrey B. Cooper, Professor of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and Co-Founder of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF). A panel of international experts will present and moderate the panel and breakout sessions. Topics include:

  • Impact of fatigue and how to deal with it
  • The importance of success analysis versus error analysis for improving patient safety
  • Approaches to using CRM and team training
  • Learning from adverse events (diagnostic error; incident and system analysis)
  • Global aspects of patient safety exemplified by the WFSA SAFE-T programme including lectures on the anaesthesia crisis, international standards for safe anaesthesia practice, work force survey, and anaesthesia safety metrics
  • Quality projects: Secrets of implementation success; creating a safety and quality culture
  • Anaesthesiology-led safety and quality initiatives: Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology, and ASA’s Brain Health Initiative

Patient safety and quality are also outstanding and prominent topics of the ASA Annual Meeting’s main programme, including the keynote lecture on “The physician’s physician — the definitive voice on improving health care” by Atul Gawande, the Ellison C. Pierce Lecture on “Anesthesia Patient Safety: Closing the Gap Between Perception and Reality” by Robert K. Stoelting, the SOAP/FAER Gertie Marx Plenary Lecture on “Links to Improving Anesthesia Outcomes” by Robert D’Angelo, the Emery A. Rovenstine Memorial Lecture on “Quality Anesthesia: Medicine Measures – Patients Decide” by Lee A. Fleisher, and many more. Patient safety and quality are strong arguments for traveling to Boston in October – and will also be strong arguments to travel to Copenhagen next year to attend the second edition of the International Forum on Perioperative Safety and Quality on June 1, and Euroanaesthesia on June 2-4, 2018!

Johannes Wacker, Chair, ESA Patient Safety and Quality Committee (PSQC);
Adrian W. Gelb, San Francisco, CA, Chair, ASA Committee on International Relations
Beverly Philip, Boston, MA, ASA Vice President for Scientific Affairs
Jannicke Mellin-Olsen, ESA Secretary