Anesthesiology EMR adoption tiny, but growing fast

Think EMR adoption in general is low? And wouldn't it make sense to have clinical systems in high-risk departments like anesthesia, where an error can lead to a hefty malpractice payout? Well, according to KLAS Enterprises, only 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have anesthesiology information management systems in place.

Though small, the market for AIMS is growing at 15 to 20 percent a year, KLAS reports, and not just because of the coming federal EMR stimulus program. Such systems are particularly useful for automating data collection. "The anesthesiologist is not making a note every three minutes of the vitals and can focus completely on the patient," KLAS researcher Jason Hess says in a Healthcare Informatics story. Anesthesiology-specific systems also can help with charge capture, monitoring of the many controlled substances anesthesiologists handle and management of drug utilization.

Typical EMRs don't lend themselves to an anesthesiology workflow, in part because physicians both place and execute orders and because anesthesiologists must make quick decisions based on many different data inputs and constantly changing variables. "Anesthesiology is time-critical and best-of-breed works better than anything," Ochsner Clinic CMIO Dr. Lynn Witherspoon explains to Healthcare Informatics.

For more information about AIMS:
- have a look at this Healthcare Informatics story