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The year is 2021 and everything from our communications, to our driving directions, grocery orders, patient interactions, and beyond have become digital. So why should your ambulatory surgery center (ASC) still be using paper processes to chart anesthesia?

SIS Charts Anesthesia, an optional module for the SIS Complete™ comprehensive ASC technology solution, replaces paper anesthesia documentation with an electronic chart for all care phases: preop, intraop, and postop. SIS Charts Anesthesia is the culmination of extensive work by ASC anesthesia and technology experts focused on designing a solution that ultimately improves the efficiency of anesthesia documentation.

Here are eight of the ways SIS Charts Anesthesia helps ASCs reap the benefits of electronic anesthesia documentation.

1. Familiar, streamlined design and navigation

The anesthesia graph in SIS Charts Anesthesia replicates the paper graph that anesthesia providers are accustomed to. This helps accelerate training and user adoption. The layout and navigation of the entire system are intuitive and easy. Clicking and drilling down to accomplish case documentation is kept at a minimum. 

The development team behind SIS Charts Anesthesia emphasized showing anesthesia providers the pertinent information they need to complete documentation. Upon logging in, providers are presented with their day's cases, consents, and clearance forms, among other anesthesia-specific documents, presented in trackers that act like checklists. This functionality increases productivity and improves workflow.

2. Automatic patient data capture

SIS Charts Anesthesia interfaces with the patient monitor and anesthesia ventilator machine via the third-party Nexi solution to automatically populate physiological data onto a graph within the anesthesia record. This solution automatically starts capturing data as soon as the patient is connected to the equipment, eliminating the need for anesthesia providers to start the case in SIS Charts to begin documenting. 

The ability to pull data into the chart directly from patient monitors and ventilators enables anesthesia providers to focus solely on taking care of patients, including getting them under anesthesia and stable. Once this is accomplished, providers can then shift their attention to the documentation without suffering any data loss.

3. Wireless control

Speak with anesthesia providers already using electronic documentation and one of their top dissatisfiers tends to be the need to have the computer tethered to the vitals monitor and/or gas machine, essentially limiting movement to just a few feet. SIS Charts Anesthesia eliminates this tethering requirement. Thanks to its wireless functionality, providers can work anywhere in the operating or procedure room. This not only delivers greater comfort to providers, but it can allow a facility more flexibility when setting up technology in an operating or procedure room. 

4. Multiple, simultaneous record viewing

One of the most significant advantages of using electronic anesthesia documentation over paper is the ability for more than one person to view and document in the anesthesia record at the same time and when in different locations. 

There are many benefits to such functionality. For example, in some ASCs, an anesthesiologist may be overseeing multiple certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) working in different operating and procedure rooms. From a single computer, this anesthesiologist can access all of those different rooms and get a bird's-eye view of what is occurring during those cases. The anesthesiologist can also add attestation notes remotely. 

Not only is such functionality valuable for management and efficiency purposes, but there are safety benefits as well. Remote viewing reduces the need for anesthesia providers in such oversight positions to enter and leave operating and procedure rooms, which helps decrease foot traffic and its associated infection risk.

5. Copying and sharing made easy

If paper anesthesia documentation must be shared, such as to the business office for billing purposes, the documentation needs to be physically brought to that office. A hard copy will likely need to be made as well.

Electronic anesthesia documentation eliminates both manual tasks. The billing team can receive access to an electronic version of the documentation to streamline the billing process. If other individuals or departments must review the documentation, granting such access is simple.

6. Legibility and clarity

An obvious benefit, but one that is still worth noting, is the ease of reading electronic (i.e., typed) text over handwritten text. Paper anesthesia records tend to become cluttered, in part due to the graph anesthesia providers are expected to produce by hand. SIS Charts Anesthesia eliminates the clutter and messiness, delivering a clean, easily readable record.

In addition, ASCs and their anesthesia providers can select which items they want to see on the graph and record (e.g., medications administered, vitals, anesthesia notes) and how they would like items plotted, whether via numeric values or in graphical trends.

7. Configurable anesthesia plans

To further streamline documentation, SIS Charts Anesthesia enables anesthesia providers to create and save plans for the types of anesthesia they deliver. The value here is that in an ASC, where cases are scheduled in advance and thus predictable, anesthesia providers can select their desired, preset plan for a case. Doing so will automatically set up all the required documentation for the case. Anesthesia providers can also easily share these plans with one another.

8. Integration with the nursing record

Since SIS Charts Anesthesia is an optional module of SIS Charts, subscribers to the module reap the benefits of automatic integration with the nursing record. As such, much of the nursing documentation is set up to flow into the anesthesia record seamlessly. This includes crucial patient information, such as allergies and home medications. Information also automatically flows from the anesthesia record back into the nursing record.

Such integration reduces duplication of documentation, improves the efficiency and safety of patient handoffs, and eliminates manual tasks, such as the physical sharing of paper documentation.

Visit SIS First now to learn more.