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A novel point-of-care information system reduces anaesthesiologists' errors while managing case scenarios

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 January 2006

H. Berkenstadt
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Tel Hashomer, Israel Tel Aviv University, M.S.R. – The Israel Center for Medical Simulation, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Hashomer, Israel
Y. Yusim
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Tel Hashomer, Israel
R. Katznelson
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Tel Hashomer, Israel
A. Ziv
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University, M.S.R. – The Israel Center for Medical Simulation, Sheba Medical Center, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Hashomer, Israel
D. Livingstone
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Tel Hashomer, Israel
A. Perel
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University, Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Tel Hashomer, Israel
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Summary

Background and objectives: The On-Line Electronic Help (OLEH) is a point-of-care information system for anaesthesia providers prepared by the European Society of Anaesthesiologists. In this preliminary study the effect of the OLEH availability on the incidence of knowledge-based errors during the management of case scenarios and participants' subjective evaluation of the OLEH were evaluated. Methods: After a short training session, 48 anaesthesiologists (24 junior residents, 12 senior residents and 12 board-certified) were presented randomly with six computer screen-based case scenarios with, and six without, the option of using the OLEH. Two reviewers evaluated the answers independently according to preconfigured guidelines. Results: The availability of the OLEH was associated with higher scores in 11 of the 12 scenarios, and with a decrease in the incidence of critical errors in 10 scenarios. Time to task completion was increased in one scenario only when the OLEH was used. The degree of professional experience was associated with better scores in five of the scenarios and with a reduced occurrence of critical errors in three scenarios. Forty-two out of 48 participants stated that finding information in the OLEH software was easy and that the system was helpful in managing the scenarios. Conclusions: This preliminary study demonstrates the potential value of the OLEH in decreasing the number of knowledge-based errors made by anaesthesiologists. According to the encouraging results, the OLEH system is currently under evaluation using full-scale simulation scenarios in an operating room environment.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© 2006 European Society of Anaesthesiology

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