Notification of real-time clinical alerts generated by pharmacy expert systems.
We developed and implemented a strategy for notifying clinical pharmacists of alerts generated in real-time by two pharmacy expert systems: one for drug dosing and the other for adverse drug event prevention. Display pagers were selected as the preferred notification method and a concise, yet readable, format for displaying alert data was developed. This combination of real-time alert generation and notification via display pagers was shown to be efficient and effective in a 30-day trial. (+info)
Design of a clinical notification system.
We describe the requirements and design of an enterprise-wide notification system. From published descriptions of notification schemes, our own experience, and use cases provided by diverse users in our institution, we developed a set of functional requirements. The resulting design supports multiple communication channels, third party mappings (algorithms) from message to recipient and/or channel of delivery, and escalation algorithms. A requirement for multiple message formats is addressed by a document specification. We implemented this system in Java as a CORBA object. This paper describes the design and current implementation of our notification system. (+info)
Improving response to critical laboratory results with automation: results of a randomized controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of an automatic alerting system on the time until treatment is ordered for patients with critical laboratory results. DESIGN: Prospective randomized controlled trial. INTERVENTION: A computer system to detect critical conditions and automatically notify the responsible physician via the hospital's paging system. PATIENTS: Medical and surgical inpatients at a large academic medical center. One two-month study period for each service. MAIN OUTCOMES: Interval from when a critical result was available for review until an appropriate treatment was ordered. Secondary outcomes were the time until the critical condition resolved and the frequency of adverse events. METHODS: The alerting system looked for 12 conditions involving laboratory results and medications. For intervention patients, the covering physician was automatically notified about the presence of the results. For control patients, no automatic notification was made. Chart review was performed to determine the outcomes. RESULTS: After exclusions, 192 alerting situations (94 interventions, 98 controls) were analyzed. The intervention group had a 38 percent shorter median time interval (1.0 hours vs. 1.6 hours, P = 0.003; mean, 4.1 vs. 4.6 hours, P = 0.003) until an appropriate treatment was ordered. The time until the alerting condition resolved was less in the intervention group (median, 8.4 hours vs. 8.9 hours, P = 0.11; mean, 14.4 hours vs. 20.2 hours, P = 0.11), although these results did not achieve statistical significance. The impact of the intervention was more pronounced for alerts that did not meet the laboratory's critical reporting criteria. There was no significant difference between the two groups in the number of adverse events. CONCLUSION: An automatic alerting system reduced the time until an appropriate treatment was ordered for patients who had critical laboratory results. Information technologies that facilitate the transmission of important patient data can potentially improve the quality of care. (+info)
Enrolling patients into clinical trials faster using RealTime Recuiting.
Previous work has been done on both optimizing the clinical trials process, and on sending critical laboratory results and decision support through paging systems. We report the first integration of both these solution, focusing on improving the clinical trial recruitment process. We describe a clinical trial needing a real-time method of recruiting patients in an unbiased manner, quickly enough that study tests can be obtained before patients leave or samples discarded. The report describes how the ten currently recruited patients were found and how diagnoses of potentially life-threatening disorders are being made. (+info)
Moorgate tube train disaster. Part 1-Response of medical services.
Experience of the medical staff at a major subterranean accident scene showed that there appeared to be a substantial advantage in using site medical teams that could offer anaesthetic facilities. The need for adequate communication from the accident site to the hospital is emphasized. (+info)
Subjective assessment of usefulness and appropriate presentation mode of alerts and reminders in the outpatient setting.
There is very little known about the limits of alerting in the setting of the outpatient Electronic Medical Record (EMR). We are interested in how users value and prefer such alerts. One hundred Kaiser Permanente primary care clinicians were sent a four-page questionnaire. It contained questions related to the usability and usefulness of different approaches to presenting reminder and alert information. The survey also contained questions about the desirability of six categories of alerts. Forty-three of 100 questionnaires were returned. Users generally preferred an active, more intrusive interaction model for "alerts" and a passive, less intrusive model for order messages and other types of reminders and notifications. Drug related alerts were more highly rated than health maintenance or disease state reminders. Users indicated that more alerts would make the system "more useful" but "less easy to use". (+info)
Closing the loop in ICU decision support: physiologic event detection, alerts, and documentation.
Automated physiologic event detection and alerting is a challenging task in the ICU. Ideally care providers should be alerted only when events are clinically significant and there is opportunity for corrective action. However, the concepts of clinical significance and opportunity are difficult to define in automated systems, and effectiveness of alerting algorithms is difficult to measure. This paper describes recent efforts on the Simon project to capture information from ICU care providers about patient state and therapy in response to alerts, in order to assess the value of event definitions and progressively refine alerting algorithms. Event definitions for intracranial pressure and cerebral perfusion pressure were studied by implementing a reliable system to automatically deliver alerts to clinical users alphanumeric pagers, and to capture associated documentation about patient state and therapy when the alerts occurred. During a 6-month test period in the trauma ICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 530 alerts were detected in 2280 hours of data spanning 14 patients. Clinical users electronically documented 81% of these alerts as they occurred. Retrospectively classifying documentation based on therapeutic actions taken, or reasons why actions were not taken, provided useful information about ways to potentially improve event definitions and enhance system utility. (+info)
Secure Internet video conferencing for assessing acute medical problems in a nursing facility.
Although video-based teleconferencing is becoming more widespread in the medical profession, especially for scheduled consultations, applications for rapid assessment of acute medical problems are rare. Use of such a video system in a nursing facility may be especially beneficial, because physicians are often not immediately available to evaluate patients. We have assembled and tested a portable, wireless conferencing system to prepare for a randomized trial of the system s influence on resource utilization and satisfaction. The system includes a rolling cart with video conferencing hardware and software, a remotely controllable digital camera, light, wireless network, and battery. A semi-automated paging system informs physicians of patient s study status and indications for conferencing. Data transmission occurs wirelessly in the nursing home and then through Internet cables to the physician s home. This provides sufficient bandwidth to support quality motion images. IPsec secures communications. Despite human and technical challenges, this system is affordable and functional. (+info)