In this study, an Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS) is used for the comparison of manually recorded adverse events with automatically detected events from anesthesiological procedures. In 1998, data from all anesthesia procedures, including the data set for quality assurance defined by the German Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI), were recorded online with the documentation software NarkoData 4 (IMESO GmbH, Hüttenberg, Germany) followed by storage into a relational database (Oracle Corporation). The occurrence of manually recorded adverse events, as defined by the DGAI, is compared with automatically detected events. Automated detection was done with SQL-statements. The following adverse events were selected: hypotension, hypertension, bradycardia, tachycardia and hypovolemia. Data obtained from 16,019 electronic anesthesia records show that in 911 patients (5.7%), one of the selected adverse events was documented manually whereas in 2,996 patients (18.7%) a adverse event was detected automatically. The incidence of automatically detected events is obviously higher compared to manually recorded events. With the help of an AIMS, automatic detection proved significant deficiencies in the manual documentation of adverse events.
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