An Automatic Notification System for Test Results Finalized After Discharge

2014-08-27 03:12:35 | BioPortfolio


Specific Aims:

1. To create an automatic notification system to prompt physicians of test results finalized after discharge.

2. To evaluate the impact of this system on physician awareness of test results finalized after discharge.

Hypothesis: Automatic email notification will improve physician awareness of test results finalized after discharge compared to usual care.


Failure to follow up on abnormal test results is a critical problem and is more likely to occur in the case of tests that are performed in the hospital but whose results are not available or not finalized until after discharge (i.e., pending test results). Responsible inpatient and ambulatory providers may not be aware of these test results. In a prior study, Roy et al. determined that 41% of patients were discharged before all laboratory, microbiology, and radiology test results were finalized (31% were collectively hematology, chemistry, and pathology tests, 27% were radiology studies, and 42% were microbiology results). Of these results, 9.4% were considered potentially actionable by independent physician review and could have altered the post-discharge patient care plan. Physicians were only aware of 38% of these test results. Failure to follow-up on these test results can lead to delays in diagnosis, missed treatment opportunities, redundant ordering of tests, and subsequent patient harm. In a hospital the size of Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) with 44,000 annual admissions, physicians would be unaware of almost 2000 actionable test results per year. Automated systems can mitigate this problem by ensuring prompt notification of relevant test results finalized after discharge to responsible inpatient and ambulatory providers. Using internal BWH funding, we have developed an automated email notification system to facilitate management of pending tests at discharge.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Placebo Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Caregiver), Primary Purpose: Health Services Research


Test Result Management


Email Notification


Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States


Not yet recruiting


Brigham and Women's Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:35-0400

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