November 1, 2007 | Health System Risk Management
The activities of the anesthesia department can affect patients throughout the hospital. Because of the high level of expertise required and the fact that the life of the patient is sometimes in the anesthesiologist's or certified registered nurse anesthetist's (CRNA) hands, anesthesia departments traditionally have been frequent targets of malpractice and negligence lawsuits.
This Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) identifies areas of the anesthesia department that are exposed to a high risk of litigation; these areas should be reviewed once a year by the risk manager, the chief of anesthesia, and the biomedical/clinical engineer responsible for maintaining the anesthesia equipment. Additional review should be considered whenever there are significant organizational changes such as the introduction of new procedures, facility changes, equipment changes, or new guidelines or practices. The SAQ is also useful during performance of a postevent analysis. ...