Pierce lecture honors patient safety movement

  • Ellison C. Pierce Lecture: Sharpening the Vision to Do No Harm
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m. Saturday
  • South, Room 206

Honoring a founding father of the patient safety movement, Robert A. Caplan, M.D., will lead this year’s honorary ASA/APSF Ellison C. (Jeep) Pierce, Jr., Patient Safety Memorial Lecture “Sharpening the Vision to Do No Harm” on Saturday afternoon. Dr. Caplan’s lecture is expected to affirm and advance Dr. Pierce’s vision of patient safety and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation’s challenge that “No patient shall be harmed by anesthesia.”

Dr. Pierce served as ASA President in 1984 and was the founding President of the APSF in 1985. The APSF was the first medical specialty foundation devoted solely to the advancement of patient safety. Today, the foundation is recognized as the model for health care safety foundations throughout the world.

Robert A. Caplan, M.D., will lead this year’s honorary ASA/APSF Ellison C. (Jeep) Pierce, Jr., Patient Safety Memorial Lecture.

A native of Seattle, Dr. Caplan received degrees from Harvard University and Yale Medical School and subsequently completed his residency training in internal medicine and anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is currently an Emeritus Staff Anesthesiologist at Virginia Mason Medical Center and Emeritus Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington, Seattle.

“This session will explore Dr. Pierce’s challenge to pursue and deliver anesthesia care that is completely free of harm by considering how to collectively debate, define and invigorate this daunting task,” Dr. Caplan said. “We will look ‘out of the box’ and examine some fundamental and powerful safety and quality concepts used by world-class manufacturers.”

Further, attendees can expect a lively presentation that will challenge all stakeholders in anesthesia safety, including individual practitioners, anesthesia groups, component societies, specialty foundations and ASA leadership, to take novel and collaborative approaches to eliminating harm.

At Virginia Mason Medical Center, Dr. Caplan served as the Medical Director of Quality, Chair of the Quality Assessment Committee, Chair of the Professional Liability Committee and Editor of the Virginia Mason Patient Safety newsletter. His leadership focused on promoting safe processes for health care delivery, with an emphasis on the Toyota Production principles of zero-defect and source inspection. The centerpiece for this work was the design and implementation of the Virginia Mason Patient Safety Alert (PSA) System. This is a single, enterprise-wide program for safety reporting and safety improvement. The PSA system features a formal protocol for halting and fixing clinical processes (stopping the production line) when critical safety problems are detected.

Since its debut in 2012, the Pierce Lecture has become one of the most anticipated and well-attended sessions at the annual meeting. Ultimately, attendees will come away informed and inspired.

“By refreshing our commitment to Dr. Pierce’s vision that ‘No patient shall be harmed by anesthesia,’ we examine the relationship between zero-defects and source inspection and propose novel safety strategies that can engage all members of the anesthesia community to make Dr. Pierce’s vision a reality,” Dr. Caplan said.

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