Background and Goal of Study: We have recently implemented AIMS in our operating rooms. Although the accuracy of automated charts over hand-written ones is well established, the burden of implementation, other than direct costs, is not clear. We report our experience in the process.
Materials and Methods: The system implemented is an open system requiring customization. A project manager and four super-users from within the anesthesia staff were trained by the vendor. This group provided training for the rest of the department, customization, and maintenance. User satisfaction was evaluated at implementation and after 4 months. Data entry into the chart and the occurrence of artifacts was evaluated after 4 months.
Results and Discussions: The anesthesia department has a staff of 36 physicians (16 residents), with a median age of 41 (35/50) years (1/3 quartiles). Ten have >20 years experience, while 9 have <5. 13 did not previously use computers daily. For the 6-week implementation the project manager worked on the system 100% of the time and the super-users for 50% each. Each user had a training session of 90 min. and 6 required a repeated sessions. Maintenance requires 30% of a full time post. For the first 3207 cases ASA score was entered in 98% of the files, the anesthesiologists name in 92% and the type of surgery in 87%. In 55 (<2%) of the cases (excluding cardiac) there were important artifacts (more than 3 readings of either HR >190 or O2Sat <80%). The opinion of the staff about the effect of AIMS anesthesia practice (workload and the attention given to the patient) prior to implementation and after 4 months use is presented in the Table.
Conclusion(s): Even in a clinical department with a high rate of computer illiteracy the implementation of AIMS can be successful, although dedication from leaders is required. During implementation there is significant manpower requirement.