Anesthesia Incident Reporting System

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The Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI) created the first nationwide system for collecting individual adverse events from anesthesia, pain management and perioperative care. AIRS is an online reporting tool to enable anesthesia providers to learn from the experience of their colleagues. AQI reports are used to educate how to reduce or prevent future similar events.

AQI encourages reporting from any individual anesthesia provider who encounters a situation in which an unintended event related to anesthesia or pain management with the significant potential for patient harm occurred while a patient was under care. Some examples of this include:

  • Drug Shortage
  • Unusual reaction to anesthetic medication
  • Unusual manifestation of patient disease/surgery
  • Challenging diagnostic situation
  • Novel or unexpected system failure

AIRS currently has 4 specialty modules:

  • Respiratory depression – Cases that involved a respiratory depression event.
  • Drug shortage – Cases that involved a lack of necessary medications.
  • Obstetrics – Cases that fall under the OB/GYN procedural service type or took place in an institution’s OB ward.
  • Pediatrics – Cases for patients under the age of 18.

All AIRS reports are made over a secure encrypted Internet connection and are maintained in strict confidence (and firewall isolation) on the AQI server.

Reports can be made either anonymously (no record of sender) or confidentially (sender contact information retained). Confidential reporting allows the reporter to modify an initial report with follow-up information; it also allows AQI to contact the reporter to elucidate important or ambiguous details.

Legal protection is conferred by AQI’s standing as a Patient Safety Organization (PSO). Federal law protects any “patient safety work product” from legal discovery and in fact imposes strict guidelines on the way in which the PSO must preserve the confidentiality of its work.

Per these regulations, the AQI will NEVER reveal the identity of any patient, provider, facility or practice gathered through AIRS.

AIRS data is abstracted by a committee of physicians who help publish Case Reports which appear each month in the ASA Monitor. The AIRS Committee periodically examines the entirety of AIRS for emerging trends in anesthesia patent safety.

Full text article about AIRS in the October 2011 issue of the ASA Newsletter (PDF)

Anesthesia Incident Reporting System (AIRS) (PPT) About AIRS

Slides on AIRS Event Reporting: Theory & Practice (PPT)

Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) 2010 Medication Safety Conference Report (PDF)

Complimentary decals (sample below while supplies last) to post at your facilities are available by emailing AQI. Please specify quantities and mailing address.

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A word cloud generated from the most common words found in cases submitted to AIRS.

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