Study on effect of EMR on lab ordering wins big at HIC

Research into the effect of an electronic medical record on the quality of laboratory test orders has won the Branko Cesnik award for best scientific paper at the Health Informatics Conference (HIC 2013).

The study, led by Andrew Georgiou of the Centre for Health Systems & Safety Research at the University of NSW, assessed the type and frequency of pre-analytical laboratory test order errors that were associated with the EMR across three hospitals and one pathology service.

The research involved a retrospective audit of lab error logs over a period of 20 months, found that test order problems associated with the EMR occurred at a total rate of 1.34 per 1000 test order episodes across the three hospitals.

In the majority of cases these errors were caused by the inappropriate use of the EMR system by clinicians. The researchers, who also included Dr Georgiou's regular collaborators Ling Li and Johanna Westbrook, say the study highlights the importance of monitoring and comparing the impact of EMR systems in different locations over time in order to identify and act upon factors that can adversely effect pathology laboratory processes.

The best student paper was won by Alison Craswell of the University of Wollongong for her paper on the computerisation of perinatal data entry.

The paper presented findings from doctoral research into issues of concern identified by midwives about the accuracy of computerised perinatal data records, which are mandated at a federal level.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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