Today I’m in Chicago for the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) meeting of the Anesthesia Incident Reporting System (AIRS) Steering Committee.

What is the Anesthesia Quality Institute? What is the Anesthesia Incident Reporting System?
If you are an anesthesiologist, you are probably already familiar with some of our committee’s work. Each issue of the ASA Newsletter features an article written collectively by members of the Anesthesia Quality Institute Steering Committee for the Anesthesia Incident Reporting System. We use real cases submitted by anesthesiologists as the basis for our topics and commentary.




If you’re not aware of the Anesthesia Incident Reporting System portal already, please take a moment to check it out. You can even submit a test case to see how it works. You may submit real cases either confidentially or completely anonymously. And yes, because the AQI is a federally designated Patient Safety Organization (PSO) all information is protected from discovery by both federal and state law. Your contribution may lead to safety initiatives or other research that improves patient safety and saves lives.

Where does AQI data come from?
Although our committee focuses heavily on submitted cases, the AQI is truly a hub of anesthesiology patient safety, receiving information from sources such as NACOR (the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry, which gets feeds from billing software, hospitals, and practice groups), the AIRS project described above, the American Board of Anesthesiology, the closed claims project, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, and the Surgical Quality Alliance.

What can the AQI do for you?
The AQI website contains a variety of resources, including an anesthesiology department quality checklist, quality measurement tools, and instructions for implementing a quality program in your institution.
Although the AQI website is primarily for anesthesiologists, there is a patient portal with links to understanding the medical specialty of anesthesiology as well as education about awareness under anesthesia, which has received some recent press.

So, what are we missing? What resources do you think are most lacking when it comes to implementing quality improvement and patient safety projects?

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