Information Management Systems, Especially the Automatic Anesthetic Record Keeper
The anesthetic information management system, including the automated anesthetic record (AAR), appears to be an idea whose time has come. The concepts involved with the AAR have been discussed for a long time. And for a long time we all struggled with questions such as what form(s) should it take, would anybody use it, and how should data be entered. These discussions were met with reactions ranging from polite consternation to less polite skepticism by many members of the audience, who felt that the clinical and medical legal risks of the AAR far outweighed its advantages. Times have changed. Last year at the Vail Meeting on Monitoring, there were four presentations on the AAR, a large percentage of the total presentations. This year, I have been asked to discuss the AAR four times in two months. Three years ago, only experimental systems were running in a few operating rooms. Today, entire operating suites have converted to the AAR, and a very large number of operating suites will soon convert. Several commercial systems are available, and there are rumors that the AAR may become a standard of care, much as certain monitors have. What has happened in the interim that such large changes have been wrought? The following lists some of the events that have changed the attitude towards the AAR, as well as the impact of these events.