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Electronic Doc Alerts

Editor’s note: Technology is no silver bullet. Applications are enablers. Process change and lean six sigma skills are required to transform health care delivery, quality and efficiency.

Electronic Doc Alerts Don’t Guarantee Timely Response

Even when physicians read and acknowledge electronic alerts about results of critical imaging studies they may fail to follow up in a timely way, and sending the alert to more than one physician just doubles the chance that it will be ignored.

That finding emerged from a study of 1,196 critical imaging notifications sent in an integrated electronic medical record system and published in the Sept. 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues wrote that 7.2% of those alerts resulted in no follow-up for at least a month.

And when alerts were sent to two recipients, which is what usually happened when the imaging studies were ordered by someone other than the patient’s primary care physician, odds were even greater that the alert would not result in timely follow-up. More in Archives of Internal Medicine.

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September 29, 2009 - Posted by | healthcare, quality | , , ,

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