Taiwan Initiates Anesthesia Patient Safety Activity

Meeting Kicks Off New Standard Setting Efforts

Anesthesia patient safety was the object of a remarkable new effort in Taiwan, Republic of China, which commenced April 25, 1998. On that day, the Society of Anesthesiologists of the Republic of China, led by its President, Dr. Shung-Tai Ho, held a symposium to solidify efforts to develop monitoring and safety standards for Taiwanese anesthesiologists.

This symposium was well attended by anesthesiologists from all areas of Taiwan as well as by government officials from the Taiwanese Department of Health. Featured speakers included Tan-Kai-Yuan, MD, MPH, MSHA (Director-General of the Bureau of Medical Affairs, R.O.C.), Dr. Akito Ohmura, MD (Professor and Deputy Director of the Hospital of The Teikyo University School of Medicine at Mizonokuchi, Japan), Chung-Yuan Lin, MD (Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Chicago Medical Center) and Robert C. Morell, MD (Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and also Associate Editor of this Newsletter ).

A review of current monitoring standards in the United States and Japan was followed by extensive discussions regarding international monitoring standards and patient safety. These discussions served as the groundwork for preliminary acceptance of Basic Monitoring Standards by the Society of Anesthesiologists of the Republic of China. Formal ratification of these standards is anticipated to follow in the near future. Many safety issues are also being addressed concurrently by Taiwanese anesthesiologists, including a shortage of qualified anesthesiologists and the consequent administration of anesthesia by surgeons and other individuals lacking formal anesthesia training.