I read with great interest the excellent article on the Patient Safety Foundation. However, I think that your readers may be interested to learn of the origin of efforts to improve quality of care and patient safety.

It began in the 1960s when the Board of Governors of the American College of Anesthesiologists, under the leadership of Dr. Tom Burnap, assumed the responsibility for evaluating quality of care and patient safety in anesthesiology. Members of the American College of Anesthesiologists attended national conferences on quality assessment to learn and apply the methodology to anesthesiology. These early activities led President “Rick” Siker to appoint a new committee on quality of care. I served as chair of the quality of care committee for 2 yr.

The committee developed criteria for evaluating quality of care, engaged in on-site inspection of departments of anesthesia at the request of hospital administrators, and advanced the...

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