ORANGE -- UC Irvine Medical Center has begun using a sophisticated information management system that enhances patient safety and provides a more solid foundation for the complex teamwork required in the modern operating room.
"Ensuring patient safety is our top priority," said Dr. Zeev Kain, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care chair. "Delivering the safest and highest quality of anesthesia and surgical care requires the latest technology."
The anesthesia information management system (AIMS) from Surgical Information Systems provides operating room physicians with accurate and comprehensive real-time data about a patient's condition and the use of anesthesia during surgery.
It tracks equipment, supplies, drugs, vital signs and personnel, permitting the medical center to more easily review surgical procedures and diagnose ways to improve results. Previously, surgical personnel manually tracked and recorded such information.
"By eliminating those labor- and time-intensive tasks, the system allows the care providers' full attention to remain where it should be -- with the patient," Kain said.
The information management system also enhances resident and medical student education by exposing doctors in training to the latest in anesthesia care.
"Data generated from the system will guarantee continual quality improvements as new anesthesia techniques keep pace with the advanced surgical techniques being pioneered at UC Irvine Medical Center," said Dr. Michael O'Reilly, anesthesiology and perioperative care professor and a national authority on anesthesiology information systems. "This sophisticated information system will be a vital tool to fulfill our missions of clinical care, education and research."
A team headed by Dr. Scott Engwall, medical director of perioperative services; Dr. Shermeen B. Vakharia, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care safety officer; Dr. Michael Moore, clinical lead on the project; and O'Reilly, coordinated the development and integration of this system in the medical center's 15 operating suites. Hundreds of medical center personnel have undergone hours of training necessary to seamlessly integrate the new system with existing surgical practices.
More information about UCI's Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care: www.anesthesiology.uci.edu
About UC Irvine Medical Center: UC Irvine Medical Center is Orange County's only university research hospital, Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. It offers acute- and general-care service and opens its 482,000-square foot new University Hospital in early 2009.
About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 2,000 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.6 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.
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