Electronic Test Management Systems and Hospital Pathology Laboratory Services
Andrew Georgiou (The University of Sydney, Australia), Johanna Westbrook (The University of Sydney, Australia), Joanne Callen (The University of Sydney, Australia) and Jeffrey Braithwaite (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Copyright: © 2008
Pathology can be described as the branch of medicine that deals with the nature, causes, and process of disease (McGrath, 2003). Pathology laboratories consider clinical and pathologic data and integrate them within an ever-changing context and then transmit a meaningful answer back to doctors and patients. In doing so, pathology laboratories play a key role in translating data into meaningful information (Hardwick, 1998). Pathology services are information intense organisational bodies that rely heavily on the proficient administration of information for patient care purposes (Travers, 1997). It is estimated that 70% of all important decisions affecting a patient’s life involve a laboratory or pathology test, and pathology data represent an average of 70% of documents residing in electronic repositories (Becich, 2000).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Computerised Provider Order Entry: Electronic systems that allow physicians (or other authorised staff) to enter hospital orders directly into a computer.
Pathology: Clinically-led diagnostic, laboratory, and post mortem services that cover a range of tests on blood and other human materials necessary for diagnosis and monitoring of a wide range of clinical conditions so that appropriate treatment can be given (Department of Health, 2004).
Quality: Merit or the extent to which an evaluand meets identified needs and relevant standards (Davidson, 2005).
Electronic Decision Support Systems: Access to knowledge stored electronically to aid patients, carers, and service providers in making health care decisions (National Electronic Decision Support Taskforce, 2003).
Redundant tests: A reordered or repeated laboratory test that is ordered within an inappropriate time frame and provides no additional information (Bates et al., 1998; van Walraven & Naylor, 1998).
Impact: Change or (sometimes) lack of change caused by an evaluand (that which is being evaluated). Similar in meaning to outcome and effect (Davidson, 2005).
Indicator: A factor, variable, or observation that is empirically connected with the criterion variable (Scriven, 1991).
Evaluation: To determine the merit, worth, or value of something, or the product of that process (Scriven, 1991).
Turnaround Times (TAT): A frequently used measure by pathology services. Total TAT can be defined as the time of physician order request to when the physician reviews the result. Laboratory TAT measures the time a specimen arrives at the laboratory to the time of results dispatch.