You are hereMonthly archive / November 2011
The Future Could be Now
Recently I witnessed an electronic anesthesia record keeping system that has eluded anesthesia providers for decades. An intuitive anesthesia specific system that makes recording the anesthetic simpler and more accurate, while allowing the provider to easily make adjustments when monitor readings do not reflect true clinical information ( due to artifact, positioning, electrical interference, etc.).
I observed a system that enhanced and noticeably improved record keeping, but not at the provider’s expense. Instead of being a distraction or nuisance, the system blended into the normal workflow of the provider. Offering subtle reminders of key data and stored libraries that autofill entries of medications,procedures, coding information, etc.
Last weekend I put out a brief paper sounding an alarm for hospital-employed CRNAs. I was disturbed after seeing a hospital in my area move to dismiss all of their employed CRNAs in favor of contracting with their current physician anesthesia group to provide _all_ anesthesia services. The physician group then proceeded to hire only a few of the hospital CRNAs, and fill any gaps with new graduates.
So here is my “after-action report” - I have learned a lot from the ensuing discussion, and I want to summarize it here. I hope everyone will feel free to comment and discuss this as well as we did the previous paper. This development is too complex and variable for me to claim to have the solution- but I do think I can put my finger on a few of the options.
Unlike most disciplines, anesthesia providers work in one of the most acute care settings in medicine, the operating rooms in hospitals and ambulatory care centers. Their job is not simply to ensure a patient is comfortable during their procedure but more importantly to manage all vital life functions during that surgery. This critical care function within the rapid paced surgical environment means the needs of an EHR for anesthesia differ vastly from most other practitioners.