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Enhancing patient safety with an electronic results checking system in a large HIV outpatient service

Nugent, DB; Uthayakumar, N; Ferrand, RA; Edwards, SG; Miller, R; Benn, P; (2013) Enhancing patient safety with an electronic results checking system in a large HIV outpatient service. British Journal of Hospital Medicine , 74 (8) pp. 465-468. 10.12968/hmed.2013.74.8.465. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To establish whether an automated electronic tracker system for reporting blood results would expedite clinician review of abnormal results in HIV-positive outpatients and to pilot the use of this system in routine clinical practice. / Setting: An outpatient service in central London providing specialist HIV-related care to 3900 HIV-positive patients. / Design: A comparison of the time taken from sampling to identification and clinician review of abnormal blood results for biochemical tests between the original paper-based checking system and an automated electronic system during a 3-week pilot. / Results: Of 513 patients undergoing one or more blood tests, 296 (57.7%) had one or more biochemical abnormalities identified by the electronic checking system. Out of 371 biochemical abnormalities, 307 (82.7%) were identified simultaneously by the paper-based system. Of the 307, 33 (10.7%) were classified as urgent, 130 (42.3%) non-urgent and 144 (46.9%) as not clinically significant. The median interval between sampling and receipt of results was 1 (interquartile range 1–2) vs 4 days (interquartile range 3–5), P<0.0001; clinician review 3 (interquartile range 1–4) vs 3 days (interquartile range 3–6), P<0.037; and review of non-urgent abnormalities by the regular clinician 2 (interquartile range 1–4) vs 10 days (interquartile range 9–12), P=0.136, for electronic and paper-based systems respectively. Seven (11%) of the missing paper-based system results were classified as urgent. The electronic system missed three abnormalities as a result of a software processing error which was subsequently corrected. / Conclusions: The electronic tracker system allows faster identification of biochemical abnormalities and allowed faster review of these results by clinicians. The pilot study allowed for a software error to be identified and corrected before full implementation. The system has since been integrated successfully into routine clinical practice

Type: Article
Title: Enhancing patient safety with an electronic results checking system in a large HIV outpatient service
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12968/hmed.2013.74.8.465
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.12968/hmed.2013.74.8.465
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1532935
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