Anaesthesia Electronic Records Versus Handwritten Anesthetic Records: An Ambi-directional cohort study


  • Faisal F. Alkatheri Department of Data Management, Strategic and planning Administration, Clinical Care services, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Ahmed I. Albarrak Medical Informatics and E-Learning Unit, Medical Education Department, Health Informatics and Promotion Research Chair, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Samina A. Khan Medical Informatics and E-Learning Unit, Medical Education Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Anesthesia, Informatics;, Electronic health record;, completeness;, time;, cost-efficient;, Saudi Arabia


Background: Handwritten documentation process has drawbacks.  Therefore, anaesthesia electronic record (AER) is becoming commonplace in operating theatres to help clinicians improve perioperative quality.  This study aims to evaluate the efficiency of AER are compared to handwritten records in terms of completeness of information, time and cost, and assessing user satisfaction.

Methods: A hospital-based cohort study was conducted, which was an Ambi-directional study that included a phase 1 part of the study that was retrospective (using a checklist) and phase 2 that was prospective (using a questionnaire at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh (KFSHRC), Saudi Arabia.  For phase 1, data were collected for 165 handwritten records during 2016 – 2017 and 77 AERs during 2018 – 2019, both from the operating room at KFSHRC.  For phase 2 survey was conducted on 47 anaesthetists.

Results: The AER shows significantly higher completion of information than the handwritten records (AER: 62.3% versus handwritten: 48%; P = 0.02).  In terms of time, the meantime for the handwritten report was 45.9 min compared to 53.9 min for AER, therefore, showing the handwritten method’s efficiency compared to AER.  The satisfaction survey found that 53% of the respondents recognise the growing role of AER in streamlining workflow and improving the quality of services.

Conclusion: The study demonstrates that AER has better completion of information, which supports the enhancement of documentation quality.  On the contrary, lesser time is taken for filling handwritten records than AER, therefore, handwritten records are cost-efficient.  This also shows how the time spent impacts the cost in operating theatre.  We recommend a user-friendly environment for AER with adequate training for its users.



How to Cite

Alkatheri, F., Albarrak , A. ., & Khan , S. (2022). Anaesthesia Electronic Records Versus Handwritten Anesthetic Records: An Ambi-directional cohort study. Journal of Health Informatics in Developing Countries, 16(1). Retrieved from



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