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New apps increase efficiency and safety for anesthesiologists

Jun. 25, 2015, 9:10 AM

by Renuka Christoph

Vanderbilt’s Department of Anesthesiology and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) have teamed to provide anesthesiologists with new applications to improve workflow and safety practices.

Matthew McEvoy, M.D., vice-chair for Educational Affairs and associate professor of Anesthesiology, and Rajnish Gupta, M.D., assistant professor of Anesthesiology and associate director of the Adult Comprehensive Pain Service, approached ASRA with the idea for an application to allow anesthesiologists to retrieve real time data from “Regional anesthesia in the patient receiving antithrombotic or thrombolytic therapy: American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Evidence-Based Guidelines,” an ASRA publication that is published every five years.

ASRA embraced the idea and launched ASRA COAGS and ASRA TIMEOUT, which are based on their guidelines.

“Dr. Gupta led this initiative and developed the key components to make this a success,” McEvoy said. “He worked closely with the ASRA board of directors to develop the clear clinical logic while adhering strictly to the ASRA guidelines, something other apps in the market have failed to do.”

With the COAGS download, users can get immediate access to updates along with recommendations based on block type and intervention type. Each drug is referenced by brand name and generic name. In addition, the app allows the user to verify the appropriateness of the patient’s anticoagulation status based on the most recently published ASRA guidelines on regional anesthesia for patients on anticoagulant and antithrombotic medication.

Each download includes the full 2010 ASRA publication as a PDF. Navigation is user-friendly and COAGS has been downloaded more than 6,000 times worldwide.

“I work in a busy practice on the regional anesthesia team and constantly found myself answering questions about anticoagulants and regional anesthesia. I now refer my colleagues to the ASRA app. It is a well-laid-out resource and easy to use,” said user Stuart Grant, M.D., professor of Anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center.

The ASRA TIMEOUT app provides a checklist when performing regional nerve blocks. The data within the app were obtained from the 2014 ASRA publication, “A checklist for performing regional nerve blocks.” The app was built in collaboration with ASRA to stay consistent with the evidence-based checklist detailed within the publication. The app reduces the risk of human error by providing an in-line switch to the ASRA COAGS app when the verification of patient anticoagulant status needs to be documented.

COAGS is available for $3.99 and TIMEOUT is available for $1.99 on Google Play.

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