Building safe and effective test management systems

Building safe and effective test management systems

Can technology make communication in complex systems safer and more efficient? Evaluation of an electronic test management system in health care

Two people using a computer

Project members - Macquarie University

Professor Andrew Georgiou
Professor

Associate Professor Joanne Callen
Associate Professor

Ms Yu Jia Julie Li
Research Assistant

Project members - external

Professor William Runciman
University of South Australia

Project contacts

Professor Andrew Georgiou
T: +612 9850 2424
E: andrew.georgiou@mq.edu.au

Project main description

Information technology has the potential to make complex systems in industries such as banking and aviation safer, and more reliable and efficient by improving communication between multiple players across different settings. Health care provides an exemplar to evaluate whether technology developed for the diagnostic test management process can produce measurable improvements in patient outcomes and communications between clinicians, laboratory scientists and patients.

Information technology has the potential to make complex systems in industries such as banking and aviation safer, and more reliable and efficient by improving communication between multiple players across different settings. Health care provides an exemplar to evaluate whether technology developed for the diagnostic test management process can produce measurable improvements in patient outcomes and communications between clinicians, laboratory scientists and patients. This research is urgent given the increasing burden of test management for health professionals, the increasing costs for governments, the serious potential dangers for patients of missed test results and the imminent rollout of system-wide technologies.

Findings

The findings have highlighted the key role that health information technology systems can make to improving the effectiveness and safety of test result follow-up.  The findings have also raised important issues for ensuring that health IT systems are usable, effective and sustainable.

The project has focused attention on the critical role that patients can play in the test management process particularly through the introduction of patient portals and personally controlled health care records, as part of a patient-centred approach to health care.

News and media

Widespread national news coverage of the findings from our study of the introduction of an electronic safety net to enhance test result management (Georgiou A Lymer S, Forster M et al. Lessons learned from the introduction of an electronic safety net to enhance test result management in an Australian mothers’ hospital Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-002466.)

  • Radio interview with Clive Robertson 11 April 2014 played on Radio 2UE, Sydney; 2CC Canberra; 2MC FM Port Macquarie; and 4BU Bundaberg.
  • Medical Observer 11 April 2014 entitled, “No more missed test results: Hospital tracking system a success”
  • Launceston Examiner, 12 April 2014, “Hospital system a life saver”
  • AAP newswire 11 April 2014, “Top marks for life-saving hospital system”
  • MedXpress 14 April 2014, “Electronic ‘safety net’ for medical tests delivers positive results.

Publications

  1. Callen J, Georgiou A, Li J, Westbrook JI.  The impact for patient outcomes of failure to follow up on test results.  How can we do better?  eJIFCC -The Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2015. Vol 26, Nr.1, 38-46.
  2. Giardina TG, Callen J, Georgiou A, Westbrook JI, Greisinger A, Forjuoh SN, Parrish D, Singh H. Releasing Test Results Directly to Patients: A Multisite Survey of Physician Perspectives. Patient Education and Counselling 2015;98 (6):788-796.
  3. Callen J, Giardina TD, Singh H, Li L, Paoloni R, Georgiou A, Runciman WB, Westbrook JI.  Access to test results using the internet:  A multi-site survey of emergency physicians’ views of direct notification of laboratory and radiology results to patients. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2015; 17(3):e60.
  4. Georgiou A, Hordern A, Dimigen M, Zogovic B, Callen J, Schlaphoff G, Westbrook JI. Effective notification of important nonā€urgent radiology results: A qualitative study of challenges and potential solutions. Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology. 2014. 21:1104-1108.
  5. Forster M, Dennison K, Callen J, Georgiou A, Westbrook JI.  Maternity patients’ access to their electronic medical records:  use and perspectives of a patient portal.  Health Information Management Journal.  Published On-line Date: 16 September 2014 PMID: 14091603 http://dx.doi.org/10.12826/18333575.2014.0011.Forster
  6. Georgiou A, Lymer S, Forster M, Strachan M, Graham S, Hirst G, Callen J, Westbrook J. Lessons learned from the introduction of an electronic safety net to enhance test result management in an Australia mothers’ hospital. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2014; doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-002466.
  7. Callen J, Li L, Georgiou A, Paoloni R, Gibson K, Li J, Stewart M, Braithwaite J, Westbrook JI.  Does an integrated Emergency Department Information System change the sequence of clinical work? A mixed-method cross-site study. International Journal of Medical Informatics 2014; 83;12:958-966
  8. Georgiou A, Legg M, Edwards G. Patient Access to Pathology Results Pulse+IT, November 2014
  9. Georgiou A. The impact of the electronic medical record (EMR) on hospital pathology services – an organisational communication perspective. In Moumtzoglou A., Kastania, A. Archondakis S. (Eds) Laboratory Management Information Systems: Current Requirements and Future Perspectives. Pp 50-66 IGI Global, Hershey PA USA 2014.
  10. Callen, J, Paoloni R, Li J, Stewart M, Gibson K, Georgiou A, Braithwaite J, Westbrook JI. Perceptions of the impact of information and communication technology on the quality of care delivered in the Emergency Department: a cross-site qualitative study. Annals Emergency Medicine2013;61(2):131-44.
  11. Callen J, Georgiou A, Westbrook J.  Evaluation of solutions aimed at reducing the incidence of missed test results:  can technology assist?  14th Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology (AOCR). 30 August – 2 September, 2012.  Sydney.
  12. Dimigen,M,  Zogovic,B,  Saks,A,  Georgiou,A,  Hordern,A, Schlaphoff,G 'Tsunami' Radiology Notification System: A Low Cost Method in Improving Communication between the Imaging Department and Clinicians. Radiological Society of North America 2012 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting; November 27- December 2, 2011 Chicago IL.
  13. Dimigen M, Zogovic B, Georgiou A, Hordern A, Saks A, Schlaphoff G. Review of the ‘Tsunami’ radiology notification system: experience after 2 years’ implementation. Asian Oceanian Congress of RadiologySydney, 31 August 2012
  14. Callen J, Georgiou A, Li J, Westbrook JI. The value of sociotechnical theories for implementation of clinical information systems. In Vaidya, K (ed) Inter-Organizational Information Systems and Business Management: Theories for Researchers.(2012) IGI Global, Hershey, PA USA; 229-245; ISBN 978-1-60960-768-5
  15. Callen JL, Westbrook JI, Georgiou A, Li J. Failure to follow up test results for ambulatory patients: a systematic review. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2012;27(10):1334-48.
  16. Callen J, Georgiou A, Paoloni R, Vecellio E, Westbrook J.  Missed imaging results:  Physicians’ views about direct notification to emergency department patients. The Australasian Conference on Error in Medical Imaging.  Nov 16-17, 2012, Melbourne.

Project sponsors

Australian Research Council - Discovery Project DP120100297

Project status

Current

Centres related to this project

Centre for Health Systems and Safety Research

Content owner: Australian Institute of Health Innovation Last updated: 11 Jul 2018 2:25pm

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