Anesthesia Closed Claims Project

The goal of the Anesthesia Closed Claims Project is to identify major safety concerns, patterns of injury and strategies for prevention to improve patient safety by anesthesiologists working in pain management, operating rooms, labor floor, remote locations and critical care. Data is gathered in the form of detailed case summaries collected by ASA member anesthesiologists from malpractice insurance organization claim files. The Project also conducts studies that focus on specific aspects of professional liability and anesthesia patient safety, including providing administrative and technical support for the Registries. Cases are collected from throughout the U.S. on a continuous basis. The project is funded by the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI). The Anesthesia Closed Claims Project research office is located at the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine of the University of Washington in Seattle.

The Anesthesia Closed Claims database consists of standardized summaries of each case, including patient information, surgical procedure and positioning, anesthetic evaluation and technique, events leading to the injury or claim, type and severity of injury, outcome of litigation, and physician evaluations of potential for prevention and appropriateness of anesthesia care. The database also includes a detailed narrative summary of each claim, describing the sequence of events and pertinent positives and negatives in the clinical sequence of care.

Dissemination of study results is broad and includes publication in the scientific literature, the ASA newsletter, as well as presentations at national and international meetings. In addition, results are disseminated to ASA members through limited special data requests.