Medical Center Decreases Manual Charting Events During Surgery By 90 Percent

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 7:53am

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has bridged the gap anesthesiologists have been battling between time spent manually charting data points throughout surgical procedures versus the amount of time devoted to making crucial patient care decisions.

Penn State Hershey implemented Cerner CareAware® technology, which enables connectivity between devices and the electronic health record (EHR), and Draeger anesthesia machines and monitors to dramatically decrease data charting events during surgery.

Prior to implementation of the CareAware technology, anesthesia providers had to manually chart vital function data points such as, heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and then adjust the patient's anesthesia level. Researchers working with Penn State Hershey noted the following information pre-implementation and post-implementation.


  • Anesthesia providers spent nearly 10 minutes manually charting data points during a two-hour surgery
  • Manually charted nearly 200 data points during a two-hour surgery

Post Implementation

  • Anesthesia providers spent less than 60 seconds manually charting data points during a two hour surgery
  • Manually charted fewer than 20 data points during a two-hour surgery

Clinical workflows and decision making surrounding patient care have benefitted significantly since the medical center has implemented CareAware technology with Draeger anesthesia machines and monitors.

The Results

  • Spend 90 percent less time manually charting data points
  • Manually chart 15 fewer data points every 10 minutes, and more than 90 fewer data points every hour
  • Spend less than one minute manually charting data points during a two-hour surgery, as opposed to nearly 10 minutes prior to implementation
  • Manually chart fewer than 20 data points during a two-hour surgery, as opposed to nearly 200 prior to implementation
  • Total amount of time saved during a one-year span is projected to be more than 2,800 hours (based on a total of 19,000 surgeries per year)

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Dr. David Fehr said, "CareAware has allowed an anesthesia provider to pay more attention to the patient and not to charting data. This will ultimately lead to increased safety and a higher standard of care for patients at Penn State Hershey."




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