This issue of the ASA Monitor details the rapidly expanding importance of health information technology (HIT) to the modern practice of anesthesiology. HIT includes the use of electronic medical records (the anesthetic version of which are called “AIMS”) as well as smartphone apps, data warehouses and tools for advanced data analytics. HIT offers the promise of improving the safety, quality and efficiency of current approaches to anesthetic care, while setting the stage for precision medicine based on genomic evidence and “big data” analytics.

Physician anesthesiologists are acknowledged leaders in patient safety. Our specialty has eagerly adopted technologies that held promise to improve patient safety, such as pulse oximetry and respiratory gas monitoring. As we embrace new technology for clinical care, we must, as the ASA seal underscores, remain vigilant, especially to the unintended consequences of...

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