ASA Adds to Videotape series on Patient Safety

Ellison C. Pierce, Jr., M.D.

The fifth and sixth ASA Patient Safety videotapes, Human Error and Adverse Events, were filmed in December and are now being mailed. Earlier tapes in the series included, Overview, Prevention of Disconnections, Anesthesia Machine Check-Out, and Anesthesia Record-Keeping.

Human Error considers data from several studies here and abroad that examine why humans err and what preventive steps may be taken. Drs. Howard L. Zauder, Harry H. Bird, Susan E. Dorsch, William K. Hamilton and Maxwell H. Weingarten present in-depth reviews of various aspects of the problem in the 20-minute segment that was taped at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Dr. Honorato F. Nicodemus, Chairman of Anesthesia at the hospital, his staff, and the operating room personnel were extraordinarily cooperative in aiding production.

Adverse Events In Anesthesia, filmed in the FDA studios, thoroughly examines the necessary steps involved in pre-, intra-, and post-operative management of patients undergoing anesthesia that will provide the best possible care for a patient when an adverse event does occur. In addition, it outlines the role these steps provide in lessening the likelihood of medical liability proceedings.

The patient safety videotape series is being received with enthusiasm in many quarters, especially including individuals in U.S. congressional staff offices, hospital risk management, and the medical liability insurance industry. In addition, arrangements are under way for its sale in Great Britain. Seventh and eighth tapes on functions and mechanisms of actions of monitoring are being planned.

Dr. Pierce is Chairman, ASA Committee on Patient Safety and Risk Management