Statement on Violence in the Workplace

Council on Surgical & Perioperative Safety (CSPS)

October 17, 2009


Website includes personalisation features.

Dan Vetrosky and Dana Gray

AASPA CSPS Council Representatives

Approximately two years ago a very important liaison was established between the American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants (AASPA) and the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS). The CSPS is a multidisciplinary coalition of organizations whose members are directly involved in the care of patients undergoing surgery or surgically related therapeutic, or diagnostic procedures. The council was first conceived in February 2004 at a summit meeting on peri-operative care cosponsored by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), and the Association of peri-operative Registered Nurses (AORN). Other representatives present at the summit included the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), the AASPA, the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN), and the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST). The members agreed to form the Council on Surgical Patient Safety and later changed the name to the current Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety.

The stated mission of the CSPS is “to promote a culture of patient safety and a collaborative work-place environment for and among the members of our participating organizations.” Among the goals of the council are the creation of opportunities for strategic, informed dialogue, the identification of areas where internal and external collaboration can improve surgical patient safety and peri-operative work-place environments, and the initiative to raise the awareness of surgical patient safety and peri-operative work-place environment issues among the public, healthcare leaders, and members of the peri-operative team. Other goals include the establishment and facilitation of ongoing communications and educational opportunities among the member organizations and the peri-operative/surgical team, and the coordination of advocacy efforts for patient safety and peri-operative work-place environmental issues.

Each member organization is strongly encouraged to bring issues related to surgical and preoperative patient safety to the council for discussion and ultimately adoption as a statement endorsed by the Council. Publications of consensus statements from the Council have appeared in the Bulletin of The American College of Surgeons. Issue statements such as retained foreign bodies, the adoption of use of blunt suture needles in specific surgical applications, and a revised statement on health care industry representatives in the operating room have appeared in The Bulletin.

This February the 6th meeting of the CSPS took place in Chicago . Dana Gray and Dan Vetrosky were the AASPA representatives present. Issues discussed during this meeting included processes for developing statements on peri-operative issues, fire safety in the operating room, the mandatory use of audible monitoring alarms in the operating room, sedation outside the operating room, alcohol-based skin preparations: FDA requirements, the introduction of new technology and safety issues identified with it in the operating room, organizational models for safety, discussion regarding AAPA representation on the Council (it was not approved), and communications with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. New business discussed included the issue of awareness during anesthesia and the new film Hollywood is putting out on the subject.

As you can see, the meeting was quite interesting and the liaison with the member organizations was invaluable.