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Patient Safety: A Brief History 

Patient Safety: A Brief History
Chapter:
Patient Safety: A Brief History
Author(s):

Robert K. Stoelting

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199366149.003.0001
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date: 23 February 2020

Patient safety is a new and distinct healthcare discipline that emphasizes the reporting, analysis, and prevention of medical error that often leads to adverse healthcare events. Anesthesiology, via its professional society, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), was the first medical specialty to champion patient safety as a specific focus. The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) was launched in late 1985. Evidence from randomized trials is important, but it is neither sufficient nor necessary for acceptance of safety practices. There will never be complete evidence for everything that needs to be done in medicine. The prudent alternative is to make reasonable judgments based on the best available evidence. Anesthesia and surgery are inextricably linked, and recognition of the importance of teamwork, communication, and collaboration among members of the perioperative team has been pivotal to advancing the safety of patients undergoing surgery.

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