Review article: The evolving role of information technology in perioperative patient safety

Michael Stabile, Lebron Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The adoption of new technologies in medicine is frequently met with both enthusiasm and resistance. The universal adoption of health information technology (IT) and anesthesia information management systems (AIMS) remains low despite the potential benefits. Electronic medical records, and hence AIMS, are at the intersection of patient safety. This article highlights advantages and barriers to adoption and implementation of IT in general and AIMS in particular, with a focus on clinical decision support systems (CDSS) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) as hallmarks that may lead to improvement in patient safety and quality in the perioperative setting. Principal findings: The advantages of health IT and AIMS include improved legibility of documentation; the ability to integrate new scientific evidence into practice; enhanced management and exchange of complex health information; the ability to standardize order sets, incorporate computerized physician order entry, and provide clinical decision support; and the ability to capture data for management, research, and quality monitoring and reporting. While not foolproof, AIMS have been shown to improve safety, quality, and patient outcomes. Barriers to the adoption of health IT and AIMS include costs, lack of truly interoperable AIMS components in health-system IT solutions, and lack of clinician involvement in implementation, planning, design, and installation of many IT or AIMS products. Conclusions: Health IT and AIMS are at the intersection of patient safety and technology. Anesthesiologists are perfectly positioned to be the physician leaders of adoption, design, implementation, and integration, not only for AIMS but also for health-system IT solutions in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Anesthesia
Volume60
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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