6 Unique Anesthesiology Needs Where Traditional EHRs Fall Short

The following is a guest blog post by Douglas Keene, MD Chief Medical Officer and Founder, Recordation Perioperative Information Management.

Anesthesiology has traditionally been thought of as a specialty profession limited to the operating room (OR). Over the past few years however, a revolution has been underway as the industry pushes to provide higher quality care at lower costs, motivating anesthesiologists to expand their typical role. Private anesthesiology groups are becoming more involved in the overall operations of the OR to improve the quality of care delivered inside and outside the operating room as well as keep their business’ running.

On average, the OR contributes between 60-70 percent of overall hospital revenue, solidifying the need for more efficient processes within the OR. Fortunately, we live in a world full of valuable insights and methods to capture data that can provide a lens into what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to operations. By further understanding how the operating room is running through specific data capture sets, not only are anesthesiologists, surgeons and other OR providers able to understand how they are performing during each surgery, hospital executives are also able to see quantitatively how their OR operations are performing. To do this however, anesthetists and hospital leaders need to identify a software that can address both hospital and clinical needs to improve outcomes.

There are many challenges decision makers face when it comes to identifying the best platform or solution for their hospitals’ OR operational needs. With so many options available between software systems and EHRs, it can be difficult to identify the best one for your practice, especially when it comes to the OR specifically. Here are a few things to consider when looking to adopt a new solution in your OR:

  • Get Specific: Your software should be designed for the unique characteristics of administering anesthesia in a variety of settings and situations. Since anesthesiology is a very precise specialty where differences in factors like body weight, drug interactivity, cardiac output, age, metabolism, ventilation and timing can influence what type and how anesthesia is administered, the ideal system must be able to capture all this type of data accurately.
  • Interoperability: Anesthesiologists rely heavily on medical devices to help monitor and detect abnormalities in blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, etc. The anesthesiology software being used should integrate along with the other devices in order to pull the crucial information onto one cohesive platform. This will help anesthesiologists focus more on the patient rather than trying to keep up with watching multiple monitors and capturing it all by hand.
  • Data Capture: Anesthesiologists regularly interact with a team of nurses and other physicians (in addition to the patient), so the perioperative suite needs to be able to seamlessly export and import data from other EMR platforms.
  • Up-to-Date Drug Usage: Because the anesthesiologist’s role is to monitor the amount of medications being administered, it’s imperative for there to be a robust alert system to notify the anesthesiologist of any potential adverse drug reactions or allergies prior to any operation.
  • Physician Burnout Reduction: It’s no secret today’s physicians are burnt out from the amount of added work brought on by poorly developed EHR systems. As you look to implement a digital system within your OR setting, be sure to identify a technology that will not create more work for the physician and, at the same time, allow them to put more focus on the patient currently being treated.
  • Program Design: When looking for an OR solution, consider the architecture of the system and whether it is cloud-based or on-site as that will affect the installation and maintenance of the program. Choosing a platform that integrates without hassle is far more likely to be widely accepted by not only anesthesiologists, but other clinicians within the hospital.

There is certainly no shortage of EHR solutions out there, some with or without anesthesiology-specific technology. For hospital decision-makers and anesthesiologists, it’s important to be confident the solution you choose can improve your clinicians and overall OR operations while focusing on patient care.

About Recordation
Recordation is a cutting-edge Healthcare Informatics company revolutionizing how clinicians report and access crucial patient information before, during and after a patient’s operation. Founded by a physician, board-certified in Anesthesiology, Pain Management and Clinical Informatics, Recordation is a by-providers-for-providers company that reduces time spent on data capture, allowing for deep dive analysis of both clinical and operational data. Recordation contributes to a safer OR environment for the patient. The company is headquartered in Wayland, Mass. To learn more about Recordation, please visit the company online at www.recordation.com.