Many of today’s modern anesthesiologists have relied heavily on electronic patient records for quite some time. From medical histories during pre-op, to intraoperative hemodynamic monitoring, the accuracy and reliability of these data systems are paramount for delivering high quality anesthesiology care. The sophisticated technology is undermined, however, if the pieces of the anesthesiologist’s record systems aren’t integrated into a comprehensive Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.

ANESTHESIOLOGY-SPECIFIC EMR’S

Unless you’re in a private anesthesiology group, you may not have much choice in the EMR System you use, but consider this. An EMR system designed by anesthesiologists will be more relevant to your daily workflow with much less after market modification than other systems. It would be ideal if you could find an EMR that would let you have a complete compliment of anesthesiology-specific content and integrate its data with the existing EMR software that you use in the hospitals where you hold privileges.

The EMR System that you choose needs to be able to allow for the particular way your practice operates and your daily workflow. For example, if you take preoperative patient histories using on hospital-based EMR system, but the anesthesiology-specific EMR suite that you want is different, you need your EMR to automatically migrate all of the patient’s data so that it is instantly accessible from your office, the operating room, or any other computer workstation. The days of manually scanning, uploading, and transferring patient data are over. Therefore, we will begin here with the assumption that all patient records will be easily accessible from one user interface, not multiple software programs for different types of records.

VERIFY EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY

Many surgeons send their patients for tests that use different machines and software than they the hospital has access to. Choosing an EMR based on the myriad of consultant’s equipment is difficult at best. For example, if cardiologists cleared a C.A.B.G. patient using the Welch Allyn Propaq Stress Testing System and you want to see the EKG tracings yourself, you need to make sure that the EMR you choose will let you grow your practice in all of these circumstances.

BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR EMR SYSTEM

In addition to software compatibility between all of the records systems that you access, the right EMR for your practice should make your life easier, not harder. The daily operations of your anesthesiology practice should not have to adapt to accommodate an antiquated EMR; it should be the other way around. For example, if a patient’s most recent intraoperative hematocrit drops by eight points, a combination of audible and visual notifications should be triggered. You shouldn’t have to manually check everything and lose precious time before replenishing blood products; rather you should have a system in place, which acts as an adjunct to your traditional methods of ensuring patient safety. Over time, you will build trust that your new EMR will alert you to critical developments.

EASILY TRACK STAFF AND PATIENTS’ ACTIVITIES

Don’t waste time learning complicated software systems that seem to drain more energy than you expect. Your new EMR should be convenient, easy to use, and save you time. If you have other personnel, such as secretaries or nurses that access your EMR, it should make their life easier too, not increase their burden. Verify that your EMR will seamlessly integrate patient appointments, reminders, and other scheduling details.

From ordering special materials and gases for inventory, to tracking who logs into the EMR, a lot of repetitive tasks can be integrated into your anesthesiology practice’s unique system. This will help curb human error and improve your practice’s measurable outcomes.

DICOM COMPATIBILITY

Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) is a standard construct used increasingly by Health Information Systems, but it is not universal. Because you will view color video of Doppler ultrasounds, plain radiographs and graphical data, the EMR System you choose will likely need to meet this standard.

EMR CONSULTANT

This has built a substantial case for using an experienced EMR consultant without the financial bias of a corporate sales team. Call 888.519.3100 or visit www.EMRconsultant.com to speak with an expert that can help you make your investment wisely.

Anesthesiology EMR/Suite Checklist

ANESTHESIOLOGY-SPECIFIC EMR

  • Ability to capture multiple codes simultaneously
  • Ability to interact with nursing, perfusion records and surgeon’s notes
  • Capture physiologic data from patient monitors or devices
  • Provide O.R. utilization data without user input
  • Time calculator

ANESTHESIOLOGY-SPECIFIC TEMPLATES

  • Cardiac Anesthesia
  • Obstetrical Anesthesia
  • Pediatric Anesthesia
  • Possible health complications (e.g. age)
  • Preoperative medicine
  • Side effects

COMPATIBILITY OF ANESTHESIA MACHINE DATA

  • Draeger Narkomed 2C & GS
  • Ohmeda Excel 210 + SE
  • Ohmeda Modulus SE
  • GE-Ohmeda Aestiva 5
  • Infinium Medical ADS II
  • Penion SP102
  • Biease STRATA
  • Fraser Harlake 50
  • Bickford 41110

INTEGRATION OF ANESTHESIA-SPECIFIC EMR’S

  • A.l. med 8.0
  • OmniMD Anesthesiology EMR
  • Ubiquity MD
  • Carolina EMR

INTEGRATION OF CRITICAL CARE MONITOR DATA

  • DRE Waveline
  • DRE ASM 6000
  • DRE Trax Transport Monitor
  • DRI Vida Multi-Parameter
  • DRE Signal SP VSM
  • Tidalwave 715Sp
  • Respironics Novametrix
  • BCI Capnocheck Plus
  • Welch Allyn Atlas
  • BCI Mini-Torr Plus NIBP/O2
  • Mindray PM8000
  • DRE Axis 4 Portable
  • DRE Waveline EZ
  • Philips 863051 Model C1
  • Philips Intellivue MP40
  • Critikon Dinamap
  • Datex AS3
  • Philips M2636B Telemon

INTEGRATION OF DOPPLER AND ECHOCARDIOGRAM DATA

  • Acuson Cypress
  • Acuson Sequoia
  • Unitixs Vascular Systems
  • Multilab Vascular Systems
  • Summit Doppler
  • Life Dop Doppler System

INTEGRATION OF EKG DATA

  • Marquette MAC Series
  • Nihon Koden EKG System
  • Philips Pagewrite EKG
  • Welch Allyn CP100
  • Zymed Digitrak

INTEGRATION OF STRESS TEST AND TREADMILL DATA

  • GE Case
  • GE Marquette
  • GE Dinamap
  • GE DASH
  • GE CareScape
  • Philips Sure Signs
  • Welch Allyn Propaq
  • Spot Vital Signs