The mission of the Quality and Safety Program in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine is to deliver the highest quality and safest care to our patients. Under the leadership of our Quality and Safety (Q&S) team and several Q&S committees, there are many initiatives underway in the department to support this mission. All of our committees are multidisciplinary and include representation from faculty, nurse anesthetists, residents, critical care nurses and administrators.

Quality Assurance Committee

The Quality Assurance (QA) Committee is responsible for the review, follow-up and educational debrief of patient safety events and situations with the potential to cause harm. We take a systems approach and with each case seek to determine how we can improve our processes to prevent similar events from occurring in the future. The QA Committee also provides a Peer Support Program that focuses on the well-being of clinicians involved in serious events.

Quality and Safety Improvement Committee

The QA Committee works closely with the Quality and Safety Improvement Committee (QSIC), a process improvement group responsible for the implementation of recommendations from the QA Committee and suggestions shared by department clinicians. An editorial published in the February 2014 issue of Anesthesiology explains our philosophy on the integration of quality assurance and quality improvement activities. Read the article (PubMed login required)

Some of the QSIC’s improvement efforts have included:

  • Implementation of more thorough pre- and post-operative evaluations
  • Standardization of operating room anesthesia tray set up and turnover between cases
  • Implementation of a standardized pre-procedure “time-out” prior to invasive procedures performed by the anesthesia care team

Most recently, we are pursuing the introduction of emergency manuals across all anesthetizing locations and the development of a patient satisfaction survey.

Clinical Practice and Patient Safety Committee

Our Clinical Practice and Patient Safety Committee (CPPSC) reviews all department clinical policies related to anesthesia clinical practices, equipment, supplies and pharmaceuticals.

Medical Simulation

Our department is also home to Jeffrey Cooper, PhD, internationally renowned patient safety advocate, co-founder of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, and co-founder and director of the Center for Medical Simulation. Simulation training opportunities are also now available on Mass General’s main campus and include fully immersive interdisciplinary crisis management as well as skills training.

Back to Top