Pierce Lecture: Improving patient safety

  • Ellison C. Pierce Jr., Lecture: Anesthesia Patient Safety: Closing the Gap Between Perception and Reality (SPE04)
  • 1:10-2:10 p.m. Saturday
  • BCEC Room 259AB

A founding father of the patient safety movement, Robert K. Stoelting, M.D., will review the origins of the movement, discuss why it is still relevant and examine today’s challenges and steps needed to improve safety when he presents the Pierce Lecture.

The long-time president of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), Dr. Stoelting is a respected and accomplished patient safety advocate. He will present the ASA/APSF Ellison C. Pierce Jr., Patient Safety Memorial Lecture on Saturday afternoon.

Robert K. Stoelting, M.D.

Dr. Stoelting was APSF president from 1997 to 2016 and has had a long career in academic medicine. He joined the faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1970 and served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Anesthesia from 1997 to 2003.

In his lecture, Dr. Stoelting will identify the events that led to the formation of the APSF in 1985 and pioneered efforts to ensure patient safety. He also will explain why a patient safety advocacy foundation continues to be imperative and why its vision that “no patient shall be harmed by anesthesia” is as relevant today as it was when the APSF was formed.

Dr. Stoelting also will explore examples of current anesthesia patient safety challenges. He will follow up with proposals that could help develop best practices to minimize the likelihood of adverse events in the perioperative period. The lecture will propose steps to narrow the gap between the perception and reality of patient safety.

Dr. Stoelting is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and participated in the Board’s certification process as an associate examiner for more than 30 years. He also served three terms as ASA Vice President for Scientific Affairs.

“The topics I will present need continued visibility to ensure their incorporation into best practices,” Dr. Stoelting said of his lecture. “Only you can help to make perception become reality with respect to known anesthesia safety issues.”

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