Editorial  |   February 2016
Trials and Tribulations With Electronic Medical Records
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D.
    ASA MONITOR
    Editor
Article Information
Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Editorial
Editorial   |   February 2016
Trials and Tribulations With Electronic Medical Records
ASA Monitor 02 2016, Vol.80, 4-5.
ASA Monitor 02 2016, Vol.80, 4-5.
It has been my good fortune to have experience with three different electronic anesthesia records (EMRs). And though I make no claims about being an expert on any of these platforms, having practical knowledge of these distinctive EMRs does provide some validity to my comments.
Shortly after the move to Texas Heart® Institute’s new Denton A. Cooley Building (dedicated in 2002), the institute’s Division of Cardio-vascular Anesthesiology converted to an electronic intraoperative anesthesia record. This medical record was one of the products offered by the makers of the fine anesthesia machines we were using at our hospital at the time. I was part of the team organized to design and implement the new computer-based anesthesia record. Looking back on it now, choosing me as a member of this group seems a bit far-fetched. Then, as now, I was facile with computers, but I certainly did not write computer code, nor were my troubleshooting skills more refined than “Let’s just reboot this thing to see if that will fix the problem.” Still, my perseverance paid off and I hung in there during 18 months of planning, design and trial. With the help of consultant experts, who had the ability to explain things in a manner understood by me, a program was released that mostly suited the needs of our team of anesthesiologists. Like many anesthesia EMRs of the era, ours was a stand-alone product that generated a document, which was scanned in to our hospital’s medical record (at the time, still paper). And though it was not the easiest system to use right off the bat, two weeks of on-the-job training made nearly everyone in the group successful in managing the program. The company supported us with periodic upgrades, all improvements to the functionality of the EMR.
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