WIHI: A New Emergency Checklist for Office-Based Surgery

Date: October 26, 2017


  • Fred E. Shapiro, DO, Chair, ASA Committee on Patient Safety and Education; Founder, Institute for Safety in Office-Based Surgery
  • ​Alexander Hannenberg, MD, Faculty, Safe Surgery Program, Ariadne Labs; Chief Quality Officer, American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • Jennifer Lenoci-Edwards, RN, MPH, Executive Director, Patient Safety, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

These days, no one thinks twice about getting a mole removed or undergoing cataract surgery outside of a hospital. Heading to an office practice or an ambulatory care center for what's considered "minor surgery" tends to be more convenient for the patient and often more cost effective. According to recent figures, upwards of 20 million outpatient procedures are performed in the US each year — everything from cosmetic to knee to eye surgeries. As the numbers rise, so do concerns about safety.

While serious harm, including deaths, remains uncommon in outpatient settings, adverse events can and do occur. When anesthesia is part of the surgical procedure, clinicians and staff need to know about the complications that might arise requiring immediate, lifesaving steps.

What are the complications? What are the specific steps? It's all laid out in a new checklist on this episode of WIHI.

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