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MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital intensify their focus on patient safety

(Vienna 22-04-2015) Thanks to impressive scientific and clinical advances over the past few decades, there has been a continuous improvement in patient safety in the fields of anaesthesia, intensive care and surgery. However, despite the developments in these two disciplines, this level of success has not been mirrored in the perioperative process, that is to say the treatment of patients before, during and after operations. Consequently, Vienna General Hospital and MedUni Vienna are now starting to place greater emphasis on improving patient safety and have set up the Center for Perioperative Medicine for this purpose.

This center is the first to be set up as a result of the joint project "University Medicine Vienna 2020" and the associated sub-project "Center Organisation". In order to emphasize its importance for the joint project, the technical symposium to be held this coming Friday and Saturday to mark the foundation of the Center for Perioperative Medicine will be opened by the Rector of MedUni Vienna, Wolfgang Schütz and Herwig Wetzlinger, Director of Vienna General Hospital. "The aim of the "University Medicine Vienna 2020" project, which should also lead to a common operational management structure, is to plan services, budgets and staffing questions jointly, make the most of synergetic effects and in this way prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future," explain Wolfgang Schütz and Herwig Wetzlinger.

"This was also why the Center for Perioperative Medicine was set up," explains Michael Gnant, Principal of the Surgical Department at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital. "Only by working together can we successfully eliminate those interfaces that do not work seamlessly and where possible complications can arise for patients in the context of a surgical operation."

For example, it is planned to have interdisciplinary control teams to regularly "patrol" the wards with a view to improving patient safety even further. Klaus Markstaller, Principal of the Department for Anaesthesia, General Intensive Care and Pain Therapy: "Just like a patrol, except that this team is observing from a preventive perspective whether intensive care patients are safe or whether their condition is becoming critical following an operation – in other words, a sort of preventive crisis management." The aim is to constantly track those patients requiring more intensive monitoring during their preparation for an operation, the surgery itself and their post operative treatment, from the moment they check into the hospital to the moment they check out again.

Moreover, the new Center for Perioperative Medicine will place even more emphasis on structured training in patient safety and also on scientific work in this area – for which there is currently very little scientific literature available – and on the area of teaching. To mark the foundation of the Center, there will also be a scientific symposium on the subject this coming Friday and Saturday. Experts from Vienna General Hospital and MedUni Vienna will discuss and give talks on subjects including the "Challenges of perioperative medicine" or "Perioperative healthcare concepts" as well as “Unexpected emergencies in the operating theater".

Event: 1st Symposium of the Center for Perioperative Medicine of Vienna General Hospital and MedUni Vienna
Friday, 24 April (9 - 17.30 hrs), and Saturday 25 April 2015 (9 - 17.00 hrs) in the Van Swieten room at the Medical University of Vienna, Van Swieten-Gasse 1a, 1090 Vienna. Information: (it is necessary to register or reserve your place in advance). Speakers include leading experts from MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital and renowned national and international presenters.