A Major Change to the Perioperative/Anesthesia IT Integration Landscape


Please complete the Level of Interest Survey discussed in the October 10, 2011 Alert on a proposed Network for anesthesia groups at:

October 17, 2011

For over a decade, anesthesia software vendors have worked to provide health information technologies for the perioperative process.  To this day, hospital adoption of an anesthesia Electronic Medical Record (EMR) remains low for non-academic facilities.  Many people and companies have expressed an opinion on the subject and the most common reason offered is the failure to make an anesthesia EMR a hospital purchasing priority. 

The most common sales model for anesthesia software is first to gain the support of the practice through demonstrations and visits from the vendor.  Next is to leverage the group’s relationship with the hospital to sponsor a new capital expenditure purchase of the desired solution.  As with other competing proposals vying for those critical hospital dollars, the process is fraught with delays, bureaucracy, and ultimately minimal success.  

Nothing stated above is a surprise to anyone who has already faced this situation and had these conversations with their facilities about obtaining a new software product.  Given the limited success of system adoption across the entire industry, integration innovation has been reduced to a secondary concern instead of one of the key components to a successful deployment.  It has been difficult enough to present the idea of a new anesthesia system to hospital IT governance committees without the extra burden of having to pay for integration with existing systems as well.

The conversation about integration is often portrayed as a simple and achievable milestone in a production rollout of a new product, but if it were actually that simple, then integrated solutions would already be widely adopted and available.  In the end, integration is difficult.  Hospitals have been forced to be the true integrators of healthcare information technology and if they aren’t staffed with a savvy IT department, the interfaces may be less than ideal or avoided altogether.

Systems available today range from preoperative portals, intraoperative documentation, clinical quality measurement and anesthesia charge capture to a host of other technologies focused on the practice and management of anesthesia and pain.  The larger anesthesia groups may staff a technology support group but the majority of groups in the United States simply cannot put together the resources to successfully integrate the available systems.  Even if they could, the requirement to purchase these systems makes the goal elusive. 

A New Model:  OneSourceAnesthesia

ABC has 32 years of experience in managing anesthesia practices.  That time has been spent achieving the highest level of client satisfaction and focusing the ABC suite of services to meet the operational needs of our individual anesthesia groups.  ABC is now leveraging that experience and commitment in a new way to assist our clients. 

ABC is now focusing its considerable resources to build a brand new infrastructure, which will take advantage of our own private cloud.  We call it OneSourceAnesthesia.  This new architecture combines the preeminent software packages available in the market today into a fully-integrated suite available to ABC clients.

This new architecture changes how software is made available to all anesthesiologists.  Instead of a piecemeal approach to new software adoption, ABC is providing the following modules to our clients:

  • Patient Portal
  • Pre-Admission (PAT) tracking
  • Preoperative Lab Recommendations and Medical Clearances
  • Preoperative Holding Documentation
  • Electronic Charge Capture
  • Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS)
  • Postoperative Quality Collection
  • Automatic upload to Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI)

Not only are these modules integrated with each other, but they are also fully integrated with ABC’s billing and practice management software, F1RSTAnesthesia.

Our new architecture is built to support a variety of options allowing different practices to utilize it in different ways.  For example, the adoption of an AIMS can sometimes be seen as a large transition that groups may not be fully ready to implement.  To meet this need, ABC, in partnership with ePREOP, has developed a new electronic anesthesia charge capture system, eCHARGE.  eCHARGE replaces a paper-based charge slip and directly integrates to our billing servers.  This allows groups to take a phased approach to the roll out of OneSourceAnesthesia to ensure success.

The new model puts the anesthesia practice in control of the software.  Hospitals and surgical facilities remain partners with all the anesthesia groups, but now the integration and capital expenditure conversations are eliminated from those IT governance committee meetings. 

What’s not to like – for hospitals or for anesthesia groups?

The only requirement for the hospital is to establish connectivity to the standard Admission Discharge Transfer (ADT) and scheduling interfaces.  All services are provided through the ABC private cloud and do not require any specific hardware.  Existing devices such as Apple’s iPhone or iPad or Google’s Android can now serve as the cornerstone for your technology strategy.

We are now available as your one partner, one solution, one architecture, OneSourceAnesthesia.

With best wishes,

Tony Mira
President and CEO