Although the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report,To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, is seen by many as the beginning of the modern patient safety movement, the specialty of anesthesiology had already been actively working to improve the quality of anesthetic care. The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation was founded in 1985, and in October 1986, the ASA House of Delegates approved the “Standards for Basic Anesthesia Monitoring” that continues to serve as the foundation for safe anesthesia practice.

As we fast forward to today, “quality” and “safety” have become the buzzwords for the future of health care. Better outcomes from improved quality of care are seen as a way to control the rising costs associated with health care in the United States. Patients, payers, accrediting organizations, and the government are demanding quality...

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