Committees  |   February 2014
The National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry: Now We Are Five
Author Affiliations
  • Richard Dutton, M.D., M.B.A.
    ASA Chief Quality Officer
Article Information
Quality Improvement / Committees
Committees   |   February 2014
The National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry: Now We Are Five
ASA Monitor 02 2014, Vol.78, 36-37.
ASA Monitor 02 2014, Vol.78, 36-37.
In 2008, the ASA House of Delegates approved the business plan and funding for a new related organization: the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI). The vision of the AQI is to improve the quality of anesthesia care in the United States, something shared with ASA itself. The mission, however, is a new one. The AQI was created specifically to build the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR), taking advantage of advancing technology to develop new insights about our specialty. It’s been five years since then. What have we accomplished, and what is yet to be done?
I was hired as the executive director and first employee of the AQI in July 2009. I came from an academic background in the trauma world, as a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, with 20 years’ experience as an institutional quality manager and registry-based researcher. The first task was to build the information technology (IT) infrastructure we would need to collect, archive, analyze and report on anesthesia case data. Traditional “eyeballs” registries depend on an army of hospital-based nurse abstractors to pull information from the medical record and enter it into the registry, but it seemed unlikely that hospitals would be willing to support the volume of data collection required to characterize anesthesiology in the United States. With the able assistance of AQI System Architect Hubert Kordylewski, Ph.D. (the second employee), we devised a different plan. NACOR was conceived as a registry for the future, built to automatically harvest digital data from billing records, anesthesia information management systems (AIMS) and quality capture programs, without the need for human review of every record.
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