Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine - Biomedical Innovation
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Research Overview

Critical Care Research

Pain and Neurosciences Research

Biomedical Innovation

Ethics and Health Policy

Clinical Research

Grant Funding


Electronic Charting and Process Control

Summary Science Features

Anesthesiologists mitigate anesthetic and procedural risk by vigilance, consistent execution of clinical tasks and assiduous documentation.  Anesthesiologists execute many evidence-based tasks, such as perioperative antibiotic management or intraoperative temperature control, as well as myriad documentation tasks for each case.  Accidental omissions expose patients to reducible risk.  High performance improves care and is financially beneficial to the institution.

Multiple recurring themes emerge from our work.  These include:

  • Continuous process monitoring, usually by recursive queries of electronic databases.
  • Data integration of multiple electronic sources and different data types.
  • Creation of new clinically useful data using information from one source to infer the state of other resources in the care path.
  • Process modeling to create a reference process against which actual process progress can be compared, seeking noteworthy exceptions.
  • Pushing data to key stakeholders, seeking to provide the right information to the person who needs it, at the time when it is most useful.
We believe that the Anesthesia Information Management System (AIMS) and the Indoor Positioning System (IPS), along with other data sources in the OR environment are sufficient to support real-time process monitoring & process control. Prominent display of the most relevant integrated data to create a shared team-awareness complements the automatic process monitoring. We are moving towards implementing this environment and concomitantly assessing its impact on the process of care and patient outcomes.

Office Information

Department of Anesthesia,
Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Gray-Bigelow 444
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114


Public Transportation Access: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes



John Walsh