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Anesthesia Quality Institute Activates First Nationwide System to Collect Anesthesia Data to Improve Patient Safety

Chicago — (October 14, 2011) 

The Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) has activated the first nationwide system to collect individual adverse events from anesthesia, pain management and perioperative care. The system, known as the Anesthesia Incident Reporting System (AIRS), will obtain information on unintended events to help improve patient safety.

“One great thing about AIRS is that it allows any anesthesia provider to report any unintended event related to anesthesia or pain management. Such events may include anaphylactic reactions, device malfunctions, medication side effects, unusual vascular or neurologic injuries, and complications of electronic health care records,” said AQI Executive Director and trauma anesthesiologist Richard P. Dutton, M.D., M.B.A.

AQI plans to use data from AIRS in two ways:

  1. Interesting cases will be used for educational purposes including deidentified case presentations and learning discussions. 
  2. All cases will be used to identify emerging trends in anesthesia patient safety. Such trends may be related to new medications and techniques, and the evolution of patient risk factors.

“AIRS will not only help anesthesia providers learn about and prevent adverse anesthesia events from occurring, but it also will provide safer and better quality care for patients who undergo anesthesia,” said Dr. Dutton. “Over the past 25 years, anesthesia-deaths have fallen dramatically due to patient safety initiatives and innovations like AIRS. We hope to continue this trend.”

Anesthesia providers interested in reporting an adverse event to AIRS, can complete a short three-page report online at www.aqiairs.org. Reports can be submitted anonymously or confidentially over a secure, encrypted Internet connection on the AQI server.

The Anesthesia Quality Institute develops and maintains an ongoing registry of case data that helps anesthesiologists assess and improve patient care. The Anesthesia Quality Institute also organizes the registry so that anesthesiology practice groups desire to submit their case information, and so that individual anesthesiologists, practice groups, researchers, and professional societies find the data useful for improving the quality of care.

For more information, visit the Anesthesia Quality Institute website at www.aqihq.org.


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 52,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Join the ANESTHESIOLOGYTM 2014 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES2014.



American Society of Anesthesiologists