Volume 6, No. 1 • Spring 1991

AANA Launches Quality and risk Management Initiative

Nancy Gondringer, C.R.N.A.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists has launched an initiative in risk and quality management with the establishment of “Anesthesia Quality Plus,” the quality assurance and risk management division of Anesthesia Professional Liability Services, Inc., AANA’s insurance subsidiary Anesthesia Quality Plus has three major missions: education, research, and service.

The education mission will be achieved primarily by sponsoring workshops and seminars on topics in risk management, quality assurance, anesthesia law, and patient safety. AQ+ also publishes a bimonthly newsletter sent to all AANA members free of charge, as well as other related material from time to time. AQ+ sponsored its first workshop on March 8-10, 1991, at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The workshop was called “Anesthesia Quality Management and Marketing,” and focused on preparing an anesthesia department for a Joint Commission survey and how to market anesthesia services by emphasizing the quality aspects of cam Jonathan T. Lord, M.D., an experienced surveyor and consultant to the JCAHO taught the QA portion and Professor Kenneth Bopp taught the marketing portion of the meeting. Anesthesia risks and their prevention were also presented by the Director of AQ+, Gary Kraus, M.B,A., JD.

Research activities sponsored by AQ+ will be in the nature of closed claims studies and quality assurance and continuous quality monitoring in anesthesia. Currently, AQ+ is working with the faculty of the Department of Health Services Management at the University of Missouri-Columbia on testing quality indicators.

The service component of AQ+ consists of the establishment of three bureaus, one each in speaking, consulting, and expert witnesses and the development of a “Continuous Quality Improvement Management and Information System” for an anesthesia department or group practice. The services bureaus will go on-line in the Spring and the information and management system is scheduled to be ready during the Summer of 199 1. Individuals or organizations who need the services of either a consultant, speaker, or expert witness can contact AQ+ and they will be provided with the names of persons qualified and willing to perform the specific service.

The information and management system is described as a state-of-the-art automated program that meets or exceeds JCAHO and other agencies requirements for continuous quality improvement, quality assurance, and peer review, at an affordable price. The system will be available for institution department quality assurance activities and the user can also opt to compare the quality of their practices at the local, state or national level by participating in a confidential data base.

Individuals interested in any of the programs of Anesthesia Quality Plus can contact Mr. Kraus at 216 Higgins Road, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068.

Ms. Gondringer, Lincoln, Nebraska, is an APSF Director and a member of the Newsletter Editorial Board.