Circulation 122,210 • Volume 33, No. 3 • February 2019   Issue PDF

APSF Sponsors the Trainee Quality Improvement Program for Fourth Straight Year

Maria van Pelt, PhD, CRNA; Brian Cammarata, MD

APSF sponsored the fourth annual Trainee Quality Improvement (TQI) Program. For 2018, the APSF Committee on Education and Training expanded the program to three groups of anesthesia professionals. These groups consisted of anesthesiology residents, anesthesiologist assistant students, and nurse anesthesia students. Participants in each track were invited to submit a four-minute video showcasing their best quality-improvement and/or patient-safety projects.

Each group received a robust response and project quality was consistently high. All projects were evaluated in a standardized manner. The physician anesthesia and anesthesiologist assistant program winners were announced at the ASA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. The nurse anesthesia program winners were announced at the AANA Annual Congress in Boston, MA.

The winning TQI resident physician trainee project was submitted by Drs. D. Garcia, D. Wong, and K. Breidenbach from Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center. Their patientsafety video entitled “Intraoperative Cephazolin Redosing—Practice Review and Improvement,” described a review and process improvement in their practice of administering preoperative antibiotics in a reproducible and timely fashion. This project resulted in a significant improvement in preoperative antibiotic dosing compliance.

The winning anesthesiologist assistant student project was submitted by J. Rogers, K. Bess, E. Kirst, and A. White from Emory University. This patient-safety video was entitled “Use of the SOAP MEE Checklist during Anesthesia Time Out.” The project suggested that students in the program who used the SOAP MEE acronym (Suction, Oxygen, Airway, Positioning, Medications, Equipment, EtCO2) were less likely to miss these key components during anesthesia cases and also more likely to correct them in a timely fashion than those students who did not use SOAP MEE.

The winning nurse anesthesia student project was submitted by L. Easterbrook, RN, BSN, from the Mayo Clinic Nurse Anesthesia Program. This patient-safety video was entitled “Improving Medication Handoff Practices Between Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Nurses and Anesthesia Providers.” After this process was implemented, post-educational observations showed an 80% increased use of the computer for medication reconciliation, correction of errors in charting at the bedside, and increased mention of home medications.

APSF will continue with three parallel tracks for the 2019 program. The following link ( provides access to the 2018 winning videos. Announcement details for the 2019 QI Program will be available on the APSF website.


Dr. Van Pelt is associate clinical professor and Nurse Anesthesia program director at Northeastern University. She serves as the APSF chair, Education and Training Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Dr. Cammarata is partner and director of Quality Assurance at Old Pueblo Anesthesia in Tucson, AZ. He serves on the APSF Committee on Education and Training.

Neither of the authors have any disclosures to report.