Time for the patient


One of the most common complaints that I hear from clinicians, whether they are Anesthesiologists in the OR or Intensivists in the ICU, is the lack of time to care for the patient.  The busy environments that they work in and the many time critical-tasks they need to perform can eat into time for patient care if not properly controlled.

As evidence of that, a clinical paper entitled “Comparison of Automated and Manual Anesthesia Record Keeping”1 showed that up to 22% of working hours are used for paper documentation.  Some of that documentation could be automated, leaving more time for patient care.

In January 2012, the authors of a Mount Sinai Journal Of Medicine article entitled Anesthesia information management systems: past, present, and future of anesthesia records2noted that an anesthesiologist cannot simultaneously record vital signs while delivering care to a patient, resulting in paper records sometimes being completed after the surgery.  Since information would be recorded from the anesthesia provider’s memory, this is a source of “recall bias.”  So if vital signs aren’t documented as they are happening, which can happen if the anesthesiologist is busy caring for a patient need, then the information may not be accurate.

In the article Implementation of an Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS)3,the authors show that paper records may fail to contain important pre-operative information about the patient (which can be mandated in an AIMS solution), contain abbreviations that are meaningful only to the writer, or be barely legible. And from an audit perspective, paper records are not likely to be time-stamped in real time, whereas an AIMS would automatically store an audit trail and time-stamp entries and changes made to the anesthesia record.

A robust AIMS allows users to manage their clinical documentation, workflow, billing, and asset management electronically and seamlessly, helping enable accuracy and allowing more time for other tasks.

From a recall, legibility, audit, and time perspective, those are 4 reasons to take a fresh look at GE Healthcare’s software to support your Anesthesia department and help to enable more time for you to care for your patients.



1 Ilkka Kalli MD, Ristomatti Partanen MSc, Kari Hermunen MD, Helsinki University Hospital, Peijas Hospital, Maternity Hospital

2 Bassam Kadry, MD, William W. Feaster, MD, MBA, Alex Macario, MD, MBA and Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH

3 James R. Douglas, Jr, MD, PhD and Melody J. Ritter, MD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *