It is time for anesthesia and medicine as a whole to adopt “Kaizen.”

I will repeat that once more. We are past due for anesthesia and medicine as a whole to adopt the Kaizen principle.

“What is the Kaizen principle?” some may ask. “Kaizen” is the Japanese word for “improvement.” It is the principle that every function at every level within a business, household, banking system, factory or health care enterprise should be evaluated continuously for improvement by everyone involved in the process. From the janitor to the CEO, every employee should have the mindset that there are improvements which can be made, and one has a duty to address such needs. Most important, individuals, regardless of organizational rank, are empowered to voice concerns and suggest ideas for improvement.

In the field of anesthesiology, we have moved toward adopting the Kaizen principle as it pertains to patient safety. The...

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