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  1. Perioperative information management systems (PIMS) are software systems that manage the documentation, workflow, and charge capture of the operating room (OR) environment. PIMS are composed of two main components: anesthesia information management systems (AIMS) and operating room management information systems (ORMIS).

  2. AIMS have been shown to improve processes of care. However, the expense and effort of implementing these systems has prevented widespread adoption.

  3. Point-of-care software and hardware are available in many different forms. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the institutional leaders need to decide on the best fit for its users.

  4. Functional components of AIMS include automated device interfaces, user-entered documentation, decision support capabilities, charge capture, and reporting capabilities.

  5. Functional components of ORMIS include clinical documentation, process reporting, OR scheduling, resource management, and patient tracking.

  6. AIMS and ORMIS need to be configurable systems to account for changes in practice patterns, new regulatory requirements, and updates in medical technology.

  7. AIMS need to integrate with hospital-wide electronic medical records (EMRs). The anesthetic record needs to be available for viewing as part of the medical record, and anesthesiologists need to view enterprise patient information in the perioperative environment while using the AIMS.

  8. Institutions need to have disaster preparedness strategies including data redundancy plans to account for failure at each level of software and hardware architecture.

  9. PIMS vendors will continue to add new features and functionality to their systems. Exciting opportunities lie in the standardization of content and ability to aggregate and analyze large amounts of clinical data.


Information technology is rapidly altering clinical practice. Health care providers interact with, and depend on, electronic medical information every day. From humble beginnings as extensions of billing and registration systems, newer clinical information systems are designed to allow management of clinical workflow, and in best cases, improve the quality of care delivered to our patients. There is ample evidence that perioperative information management systems (PIMS) can improve documentation accuracy, clinical compliance, process-of-care measures, and even improve operational efficiency. However, there are still detractors who feel these systems hamper the clinician's ability to focus on the patient. Although the adoption of PIMS has been slower than expected, the number of successful implementations is clearly increasing, and many departments that do not have systems are in the process of implementing. More than just documenting care, AIMS customers are using the immense amount of data generated to better understand perioperative medicine and develop practices that improve the quality of care. They are also providing feedback to the commercial vendors of these systems that are resulting in improvements in usability and functionality. PIMS have 2 major components: anesthesia information management systems (AIMS) and OR management information systems (ORMIS). AIMS are software that anesthesiologists use to document perioperative care of the patient. OR personnel use ORMIS to schedule surgical procedures, track resources, and document clinical care and billable items. This chapter introduces the functional components of PIMS. It also explains how these components work together and why they are important to the practice ...

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