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The American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient.


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August 1, 2013 Volume 77, Number 8
'Chasing Zero' at Annual Meeting Opening Session

Since its inception in 2010, the annual meeting Opening Session has become perhaps the most popular event at each meeting. Opening Session speakers have been preeminent leaders in their field chosen to underscore the theme of each meeting and to inform, educate and entertain. 

This year, Charles Denham, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Patient Safety, and Co-Founder and Chair of the Global Patient Safety Forum, will be joined by actor and patient safety advocate Dennis Quaid to discuss the progress being made in many hospitals throughout the country in addressing issues of patient safety and accountability. 

Dennis Quaid, well known to most through his 30-year professional acting career, became involved in patient safety issues after a hospital medical error proved nearly fatal for his newborn twins in 2007. He has since made it a priority to raise public awareness of patient safety issues and the risks of preventable medication errors. Dr. Denham and Mr. Quaid have collaborated on measures aimed at expediting the adoption of NQF-Endorsed® Safe Practices for Better Healthcare, including joining their foundations and producing a series of documentaries aimed at policymakers and health care leaders. 

With examples from their series of documentaries, including “Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm,” which Denham produced and which starred Quaid, they weave an inspiring story of how great doctors, nurses and hospital administrators are transforming their hospitals. Denham, along with Quaid, shows how every organization can leverage the intersection of leadership, practices and technologies to generate transformational performance. They use the current health care system as an example of why measurable targets can be hit when urgency and a “failure is not an option” mentality are embraced. They use examples of hospitals that have declared zero health care harm as a target ... and hit it.

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