Scenario 1: You are the perioperative medical director for a 250-bed hospital with 24 anesthetizing locations. It is 6:30 Tuesday morning with 70 procedures scheduled. Users are having difficulty logging into the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) and are only able to retrieve data slowly and sporadically. You discuss the situation with the surgical director and administrator. They are unconcerned, bordering on dismissive, stating, “We kept records on paper for years. Surely we can function for a day without these doggone computers!”

Scenario 2: You are your department’s informaticist. At noon on a Thursday there are 12 patients in pre-op, 43 cases under way and 72 additional cases scheduled to start. A colleague pages you complaining that his anesthesia record is “frozen.” Then your pager won’t stop beeping. You discover that most of the hospital’s EHR is functional, but...

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