Comparison of deferral rates using a computerized versus written blood donor questionnaire: a randomized, cross-over study [ISRCTN84429599].
BACKGROUND: Self-administered computer-assisted blood donor screening strategies may elicit more accurate responses and improve the screening process. METHODS: Randomized crossover trial comparing responses to questions on a computerized hand-held tool (HealthQuiz, or HQ), to responses on the standard written instrument (Donor Health Assessment Questionnaire, or DHAQ). Randomly selected donors at 133 blood donation clinics in the area of Hamilton, Canada participated from 1995 to 1996. Donors were randomized to complete either the HQ or the DHAQ first, followed by the other instrument. In addition to responses of 'yes' and 'no' on both questionnaires, the HQ provided a response option of 'not sure'. The primary outcome was the number of additional donors deferred by the HQ. RESULTS: A total of 1239 donors participated. Seventy-one potential donors were deferred as a result of responses to the questionnaires; 56.3% (40/71) were deferred by the DHAQ, and an additional 43.7% (31/71) were deferred due to risks identified by the HQ but not by the DHAQ. Fourteen donors self-deferred; 11 indicated on the HQ that they should not donate blood on that day but did not use the confidential self-exclusion option on the DHAQ, and three used the self-exclusion option on the DHAQ but did not indicate that they should not donate blood on the HQ. The HQ identified a blood contact or risk factor for HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted infection that was not identified by the DHAQ in 0.1% to 2.7% of donors. CONCLUSION: A self-administered computerized questionnaire may increase risk reporting by blood donors. (+info)
Infectious disease guides. For users of hand-held computers.
The Sanford Guide is an independent, comprehensive authoritative reference on treatment of infectious disease . It can be difficult to navigate, and it costs $25 (US). The ePocrates ID program is smaller but is quicker to use. It also interfaces with a drug database. The ABX POC-IT Guide is well designed and includes antibiotic monographs but currently has the least extensive disease database of the three programs, and furthermore, it lacks pediatric data. All three programs appear to use evidence-based recommendations. (+info)
Surgical procedure logging with use of a hand-held computer.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of incorporating hand-held computing technology in a surgical residency program, by means of hand-held devices for surgical procedure logging linked through the Internet to a central database. SETTING: Division of General Surgery, University of Toronto. DESIGN: A survey of general surgery residents. METHODS: The 69 residents in the general surgery training program received hand-held computers with preinstalled medical programs and a program designed for surgical procedure logging. Procedural data were uploaded via the Internet to a central database. Survey data were collected regarding previous computer use as well as previous procedure logging methods. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Utilization of the procedure logging system. RESULTS: After a 5-month pilot period, 38% of surgical residents were using the procedure-logging program successfully and on a regular basis. Program use was higher among more junior trainees. Analysis of the database provided valuable information on individual trainees, hospital programs and supervising surgeons, data that would assist in program development. CONCLUSIONS: Hand-held devices can be implemented in a large division of general surgery to provide a reference database and a procedure-logging platform. However, user acceptance is not uniform and continued training and support are necessary to increase acceptance. The procedure database provides important information for optimizing trainees' educational experience. (+info)
Open source handheld-based EMR for paramedics working in rural areas.
We describe a handheld-based electronic medical record (EMR) for use in certain rural settings. The system is based on the Linux operating system and allows access to large mobile databases. The open source system is designed for paramedical health workers serving remote areas in rural India. A PDA loaded with the handheld-based EMR provides workers who have little access to medical doctors with different kinds of decision support and alerts. It addresses two important problems in developing countries: prenatal care and child health. This paper describes the technical challenges and innovation needed in the design, development, adaptation and implementation of the handheld EMR in a real setting in India (+info)
The implementation of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) based patient record and charting system: lessons learned.
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) offer many potential advantages to clinicians. A number of systems have begun to appear for all types of PDAs that allow for the recording and tracking of patient information. PDAs allow information to be both entered and accessed at the point of care. They also allow information entered away from a central repository to be added or "synced" with data through the use of a wireless or wired connection. Few systems, however, have been designed to work in the client/server environment. Even fewer have been designed as point of care additions to already existing enterprise systems. This paper describes the issues encountered in deploying such a system for use in the University of Washington Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The lessons learned could be applied to other institutions that will seek to add handheld technology to information systems in the future. (+info)
Validation of electronic student encounter logs in an emergency medicine clerkship.
Handheld electronic patient encounter logs offer opportunities to understand and enhance medical students' clinical experiences. Before using the data, the reliability of log entries needs to be verified. We assessed the sensitivity and specificity of handheld patient encounter logs by comparing documented entries with reliable external data sources. During an Emergency Medicine clerkship, medical students voluntarily recorded their patients' diagnoses in an Electronic Student Encounter Log (E-SEL) on handheld computers. We used patient demographics to match anonymous log entries with medical charts. Most students recorded 60% or more of their patient encounters and on average 60% of their patients' medical problems in the log. The false positive rate was 26% for patient encounters and 19% for patient problems. In general, students recorded more diagnoses in more detail than was available in the patient's ED chart. Improvements in the log's interface and documentation incentives should enhance the log's accuracy and utility. (+info)
The USU medical PDA initiative: the PDA as an educational tool.
A medical personal digital assistant (PDA) initiative for healthcare students began in 2000 at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). The University issued PDAs to Graduate School of Nursing (GSN) and School of Medicine (SOM) students. These devices were used to provide clinical reference material to the students, to facilitate clinical experience log collection, and the normal organizer functions of a PDA. Both medical and graduate nursing students were surveyed both before and during clinical training to determine the perceived usefulness of the PDA. A quantitative approach was utilized to emphasize the measurable variables. (+info)
Providing context-sensitive decision-support based on WHO guidelines.
A decision support system was developed implementing the WHO guideline for diarrhea management. The decision-support system is integrated into a medical records application on a handheld computer. The system will be used by primary health care workers in rural India. The guideline was encoded as a set of chained rules in CLIPS format. To enhance adherence to guidelines, we use a model based on a context-adapted guideline to provide decision support at the point of care in a particular setting. The purpose of the system is to tailor the recommendations based on the patient's condition and the local factors such as resource availability in order to create feasible uniformity in a practice across different providers of care. (+info)