2017 Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., MD, Award for Best Abstract in Patient Safety

Crystal M. Woodward, MD; Maria van Pelt, PhD, CRNA

The ASA Abstract Review Committee for the Patient Safety and Practice Management Track (ASA 2017) completed a review of 143 abstracts and selected the top ten abstracts for consideration for the 2017 Ellison C Pierce Jr. (JEEP) APSF Award for Best Abstract in Patient Safety. A subcommittee of the APSF Committee on Education and Training convened and chose the 2017 winner from the top ten selected abstracts.

Dr. Mark Warner (President of the APSF) congratulates the 2017 Ellison Pierce, Jr., MD, “Best Abstract in Patient Safety” award winners, (from left to right) Drs. Crystal Woodward and Grete Porteous from Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, at the 2017 ASA Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

The 2017 JEEP Patient Safety Award winners are Crystal M. Woodward, MD, Grete H. Porteous, MD, Helen A. Bean, DO, Ryan P. Beecher, CRNA, Jennifer R. Bernstein, BA, Sarah D. Wilkerson, RN, Ian Porteous, PhD, and Robert L. Hsiung, MD, from Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA. This award was presented at the Pierce Lecture on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at the ASA Meeting 2017. A summary of their abstract entitled “A Simulation Study to Evaluate Improvements in Anesthesia Work Environment Contamination Following Implementation of a Bundle of Interventions” is discussed below.

Anesthesia professionals deliver patient care in a variety of settings in which “clean” and “contaminated” tasks are performed rapidly and often in parallel. The research team at Virginia Mason Medical Center designed a simulation study to test whether implementation of a bundle of interventions could help decrease contamination within the anesthesia work environment. The study design consisted of using UV tracers in a 2-part simulation study which allowed direct visualization of contamination within the simulated OR. Fifty simulation scenarios were completed by 25 different participants which included residents, attendings, and CRNAs. The bundle of interventions that was implemented within the simulations included tasks such as double gloving prior to intubation and hand washing prior to touching the anesthesia cart. Results showed that contamination rates decreased significantly by 27% during the scenarios in which the bundle of interventions was implemented. Further analysis revealed that the bundle also had a significant impact on decreasing contamination specifically of the anesthesia cart and the anesthesia machine. This simulation study highlighted both the extent of contamination possible within the anesthesia work environment as well as the overwhelming importance of hand hygiene among anesthesia providers. The study will also be published soon in Anesthesia & Analgesia and has resulted in multiple educational changes within the anesthesia department at Virginia Mason.

Dr. Woodward is a senior anesthesiology resident at Virginia Mason Center, Seattle, WA.

Dr. van Pelt is the APSF Chair, Education and Training Committee and an Executive Committee and Board of Directors member.


Neither of the authors have any conflicts of interest to declare.