Decision support system may help anesthesiologists improve care during surgery — 4 things to know

An intraoperative decision support system with real-time visualizations may help physician anesthesiologists improve the quality of surgical care, a study in Anesthesiology found.

Here are four things to know:

1. The study assessed a novel operating room software system that integrates various sources of patient data in real-time into a single dashboard view. The system shows a "live" schematic organ system view of the patient, complete with a beating heart and breathing lungs.

2. The system also includes digital text and audio alerts to warn physicians when a patient's blood pressure is dangerously low.

3. The study evaluated a total of 26,769 patients. The use of the intraoperative decision support system was associated with improved process measures including lung ventilation management during surgery, but not with improved clinical postoperative outcomes.

4. Physician anesthesiologists need to be aware of about 40 different patient data streams at one time during surgery, including blood pressure, ventilation and heart rate, according to lead author and associate professor of anesthesiology Sachin Kheterpal, MD, at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

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