The objective of this study was to design an electronic form of documentation of surgical procedures, which would include audio and video recording of the entire surgical procedure. Video clips have shown promise for teaching surgical procedures. To date, no systems have been described to fully record video and audio of all events during a surgical procedure. Much as such systems have aided the airline industry, surgical safety, documentation, and education could benefit from comprehensive, multimedia documentation systems. Four camcorders provided views of: (1) anesthetic monitors, (2) laparoscopic images, (3) room view, and (4) surgical field view. All video and audio were combined with real-time written documentation of events within a simple, inexpensive database for archiving, review, and evaluation. Electronic records provided answers to more than 90% of the structured review questions, leaving only 6% unanswered, versus 92% unanswerable based on the traditional paper records. This electronic documentation system provides a much more comprehensive and easily mined means of surgical documentation than traditional paper records.