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    Anesthesia Information Management Systems Beneficial in Labor & Delivery

    By Jennifer Huddleston, staff writer    

    Approximately 5 percent of hospitals in the United States utilize an anesthesia information management system, or AIMS, in the operating room (OR). An AIMS electronically records information related to anesthesia care, including laboratory data, procedure notes, event timing, medications, patient identification, clinical history, practitioner data and surgical or diagnostic procedure, to create a comprehensive perioperative anesthesia record. [1]

    Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City has used an AIMS for more than 10 years and extended the system in its OR to its labor and delivery (L&D) suite approximately two years ago. Prior to the AIMS expansion, anesthesia records in all 14 birthing rooms in the L&D were handwritten. Just more than a year after the expansion, researchers studied the perceptions of anesthesiologists and nurses using the AIMS.
    [2]

    The Mount Sinai study revealed that 76 percent of anesthesiologists were satisfied with the AIMS in L&D. Similarly, the majority (73 percent) said they would not want to return to using paper records. Among nurses surveyed, more than two-thirds (69 percent) said the AIMS enabled the anesthesiologists to be more attentive.
    [3]

    The main purpose of an AIMS is to enhance patient care by recording and storing data from several locations for later retrieval. Data retrieved from an AIMS can be specific to a certain patient or incident or include information from a large number of patients for the purposes of studying trends, researching specific topics related to patient care or making quality assessments.
    [4]

    An AIMS can also provide, store and retrieve data regarding the entire anesthesia department, such as room turnover time segmented by individual provider or provider type, provider costs for a certain time period, time from induction to intubation, and more. [5]

    Further, researchers are able to include in studies greater numbers of cases when an AIMS is used because it eliminates the need for reviewing charts manually. Without an AIMS, such a study would be limited to a fewer amount of cases or would require extensive time and manpower. [6]

    Studies have found automated records to be more accurate than manual records. [7]   Facilities using an AIMS rather than handwritten records have seen benefits ranging from increased legibility and enhanced data retrieval for research purposes to improved OR efficiency, firmer legal defensibility and greater regulatory compliance. They have also experienced improved performance, billing metrics and cost containment. [8]

    The Mount Sinai researchers concluded that an AIMS should not be confined only to OR settings and can be utilized successfully in L&D as well. [9]


    [1] Beilin, Yaakov, et al. “A Survey of Anesthesiologists’ and Nurses’ Attitudes toward the Implementation of an Anesthesia Information Management System on a Labor and Delivery Floor.” International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia. Volume 18, Issue 1. 
    [2] Ibid . 
    [3]  Ibid.
    [4] Williams, Joe R. “Anesthesia Information Management Systems.” AANA Journal. Volume 73, Number 3. June 2005.
    [5]  Ibid
    [6]  Ibid
    [7]  Ibid
    [8] Beilin, Yaakov, et al. “A Survey of Anesthesiologists’ and Nurses’ Attitudes toward the Implementation of an Anesthesia Information Management System on a Labor and Delivery Floor.” International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia. Volume 18, Issue 1. 
    [9]  Ibid. 



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