Use of mobile tablet devices and reduction in time to perioperative transesophageal echocardiography reporting: a historical cohort study


© 2014, Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society.Purpose: Timely communication of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) findings to the postoperative care team is critical to optimizing patient care. We compared the use of a personal computer (PC) system with the use of a mobile tablet device (MTD) system for point-of-care TEE data entry and hypothesized that the MTD-based system would reduce the time to preliminary TEE reporting and decrease the incidence of delinquent reporting by 50%. Methods: In this historical cohort study, we reviewed 508 perioperative TEE reports entered by cardiothoracic anesthesia fellows. Reports were grouped based on whether data were entered on a PC (PC group) or a MTD (MTD group). Time to TEE reporting was defined as the time from the patient leaving the operating room to the time the TEE report was generated. Delinquent reports were defined as those generated >24 hr after the initial exam. Time to TEE reporting and incidence of delinquent reports were compared between the two groups. Results: Mean (SD) time to TEE reporting was significantly improved with MTD data entry vs PC data entry [233 (676) min vs 1,103 (3,830) min, respectively; mean difference 870 min; 95% confidence interval (CI) 293 to 1,448; P = 0.003], and median (IQR) time was also significantly improved [46 (163) min vs 126 (1,000) min, respectively; median difference 80 min; P = 0.0002]. The incidence of report delinquency with MTD data entry vs PC data entry was also significantly reduced [2.1% vs 6.8%, respectively; mean difference 2.2%; 95% CI 0.5 to 9.0; P = 0.02]. Conclusion: Implementation of a MTD system for data entry leads to improved TEE reporting time and reduces TEE reporting delinquency. Further studies are required to determine whether this strategy enhances quality of reporting, optimizes communication between care teams, and improves outcomes without increasing costs.






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Publication Info

Bottiger, Brandi, Sharon McCartney, Igor Akushevich, Alina Nicoara, Mamata Yanamadala and Madhav Swaminathan (2015). Use of mobile tablet devices and reduction in time to perioperative transesophageal echocardiography reporting: a historical cohort study. Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, 62(1). pp. 31–36. 10.1007/s12630-014-0250-6 Retrieved from

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Brandi Anne Bottiger

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

I have been a member of the Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology division and Department of anesthesiology for >10 years, caring for cardiac and thoracic surgical patients. I am the current cardiothoracic anesthesiology fellowship director of 14 fellows (  My academic interests are in education, CTA content development, and specific interests in outcomes improvement after lung transplantation. Additionally, I have greatly appreciated my leadership role and ability to engage with the Duke Transplant Center.


Sharon Lorraine McCartney

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

Igor Akushevich

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

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