SCATA exists to promote research into the use of computing and technology in anaesthesia, the science related thereto, and to disseminate the useful results of such research. In addition, SCATA aims to promote and facilitate education and training in the areas of health IT and health information management. Membership is open to clinical and non-clinical members. Our Autumn Meeting is held in London, and is aimed primarily at members of the SCATA Working Groups, with forums and workshop sessions on the core areas of activity. The Spring meeting is our Scientific Conference and includes a General Meeting for Members (previously known as the AGM).
SCATA, first named the Computing In Anaesthesia Society, was founded in 1987 by Alastair Lack, Gavin Kenny, Mike Fisher and Malvena Stuart-Taylor. It has gradually expanded to a membership of over 300, and is open to clinical and non-clinical members. Trainees of all levels are encouraged.
SCATA has become well known for the development of the computerised trainee logbook and has been associated with the development of computerised Propofol infusions. It is active in developing agreed clinical terms for use in anaesthetic information systems at a national and international level, setting up critical incident reporting systems, and the presentation and development of automated anaesthetic record keeping systems.
Subjects discussed at SCATA meetings include depth of anaesthesia monitoring, body simulator training systems, computer based training methods, using fuzzy logic for decision support and neural networks for data analysis. New technologies that affect anaesthetic practice, such as robot assisted surgery and ultrasound guided nerve blocks and cannulation, have also been considered. More recently the focus has moved towards embracing networking technologies and distributed computing. There has also been much discussion of the various National Programmes for IT in the NHS - delivered in England by Connecting for Health.
The opportunities offered by the internet are enormous but need harnessing to be available to clinicians without specialist knowledge. Improved communications mean that it is now becoming possible to include patient information derived during anaesthesia within the context of the whole Electronic Patient Record. SCATA also has a role in guiding and educating clinicians about all information related issues, but including system security, confidentiality and making the best use of clinical databases. The Society has instigated and run health information courses for some years, the current focus being on the Information Technology Life Support (ITLS) courses.
In summary SCATA plays a major role not only in developing and researching new technologies, but also in disseminating knowledge informally and through educational courses. It welcomes new members from all clinical disciplines, especially trainees, and also from commercial suppliers. SCATA's web site provides extensive information about the Society and is the primary means of communication with members.
A P Madden, Chairman, 2007-2009
The History of SCATA and ESCTAIC
At the 2007 20th anniversary meeting, Alastair Lack presented his personal reminiscenses from the early days of SCATA. He has kindly agreed to make them available in this document.
The SCATA Constitution is now maintained on the Wiki