Sleeping on a cloud—advanced clinical anesthesiology solution uses Microsoft Azure as its technological foundation

imageAs a physician, I have a great deal of respect for my colleagues who specialize in anesthesiology. While surgeons may get all the glory for what they do in an operating room, they couldn’t do their job without the anesthesiologist. These specialist doctors put patients to sleep and maintain them in a kind of twilight zone between life and death before bringing them back safely to consciousness. They are critical members of the operating room team and to your safety during surgery. They literally have your life in their hands.

During surgery these unsung heroes of the operating room constantly monitor your vital signs and physiological parameters making needed adjustments to medications and life support measures. They rely on sophisticated sensors, equipment and monitors. Now, thanks to physicians, researchers and technologists at the Cleveland Clinic, anesthesiologists have some amazing new tools that are helping to make surgery and anesthesia even safer.

imageThe idea for what is now called ACG-Anesthesia™, an Anesthesia Clinical Decision Support System marketed by Talis Clinical, started years ago with Dr. David L. Brown, Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Anesthesia Institute. Dr. Brown, who is also a commercial private pilot, reasoned that just as pilots use avionics and moving map reminders to safely conduct a flight, anesthesiology teams could benefit from the guidance of a clinical decision support system to manage a safe and successful course of surgery and anesthesia. Thus began a quest to develop and bring to market a solution to streamline the complex process of providing members of the surgical team with real-time information needed to support patients’ health and safety-- from preparing for surgery to a successful outcome and every step along the way. The solution also helps hospitals collect and report information required by regulatory bodies and manage documentation for insurers, payers, and quality improvement initiatives. That solution is now used in all 300 operating rooms at the Cleveland Clinic and in 600 anesthesia care locations across 17 facilities.

ACG-Anesthesia™ is constantly vigilant, augmenting the best human cognitive processes by providing automation, speed and guidance in a challenging environment. The solution:

imageElectronically collects, aggregates and displays at the bedside all pertinent patient data, physiological vital signs and therapy delivery.

Compliantly documents (with minimal interruption to the clinician).

Speeds identification of emerging adverse events, including little appreciated post-30 day mortality influences, while maximizing time for harm prevention.

In commercializing ACG-Anesthesia™, Talis Clinical selected Microsoft Azure as the technological foundation for its Anesthesia Clinical Decision Support System. Microsoft Azure is essentially a cloud platform that represents a growing collection of integrated services—compute, storage, data, networking and app. It helps developers and organizations move faster, do more, and save money. For Talis Clinical, Microsoft Azure provided the most elegant solution while supporting the company’s strict security protocols. According to Gary Colister, COO of Talis Clinical. “Azure is critical to supporting ACG-Anesthesia. It allows us to support and monitor our patients with confidence and fewer technology resources so we can better support Talis Clinical’s applications.”

Perhaps we can all “sleep” a little more confidently during surgery now, knowing that the doctors caring for us have advanced, vigilant, very “smart” technologies that are looking over their shoulders and ours, and helping to keep us safe.

Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft

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