B. G. Nair, Ph.D., H. A. Schwid, M.D.
Research has irrefutably proven that timely administration of perioperative antibiotics and maintenance of normothermia reduces surgical site infections. Yet, despite national mandates, quality measures, and monthly reporting to clinicians, translation to clinical practice remains sub-optimal with adherence to clinical protocols for initial dose of perioperative antibiotics at only 86-90% at University of Washington Medical Center and lower in most other hospitals. To address these and other patient safety issues we developed a prototype software tool, the Smart Anesthesia Messenger (SAM). SAM works in conjunction with an Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS) to monitor the occurrence of patient safety issues and provide electronic alerts to the anesthesia care giver in real-time at the point of patient care. Immediately following the introduction of the basic prototype SAM on-time administration of the first dose of antibiotic increased to 98% for the first month and 99% for the second month. The proposed research study aims to expand SAM to improve perioperative antibiotic redosing and maintenance of normothermia. The effectiveness of the electronic alerts will be evaluated by comparing the antibiotic and temperature management during surgical cases with and without SAM messages.