Historically, the elements of and approach to electronic perioperative care documentation, including the anesthesia record, have been determined locally by individual facilities, most commonly major universities and large centers, with guidance from national standards set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). However, electronic anesthesia information managements systems (AIMS) adoption is not yet universal. Anesthesiologists, through ASA and the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI), have begun to take the initiative to standardize these elements. Such efforts must continue, and the specialty must remain responsible for maintaining them in perpetuity.

On October 21, 1986, the ASA House of Delegates adopted the Standards of Basic Anesthetic Monitoring, mandating the monitoring of certain physiological parameters for all anesthetics. This far-sighted standard dramatically improved patient safety and care quality. Without ASA’s leadership, innovative monitors that contribute to safer anesthetics, notably pulse...

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