Anesthesia information management systems (AIMS) create electronic records that constitute a portion of a larger medical record. A single anesthetic for a surgical intervention is just one encounter within a comprehensive medical record that contains information from many divergent sources. One of the most essential (yet least glamorous) tasks that confront departmental champions for anesthesia information technology is creating and maintaining interfaces that move data to and from the AIMS. This critical task supports many functions that may include medical recordkeeping, professional billing, quality assessment/performance improvement, research and practitioner compensation.

Interfaces are challenging for departmental administrators, because a malfunctioning interface may occur at nearly any time, and warning systems are difficult to create and maintain. The largest threat of interface failures is that data losses will lead to negative effects on the functions supported by the AIMS interfaces, from which recovery may be difficult or impossible. As with so many...

You do not currently have access to this content.