It’s Not About The Box Improving Care at Group Health with People, Process and Technology

September 16, 2008

Meanwhile, back in Seattle…..working on labs

Filed under: Lab — Tags: — John Kaschko @ 8:57 am

While much of the Informatics team is in Madison at the User Group meeting, there still is some work going on “back home.”  I have been working with our lab representative on standardizing the names of various tests in Epic and the Laboratory Information System (LIS).  We are fortunate to have a wealth of data available to us in Epic to enable taking care of patients, and the breadth of the data available is continually improving by electronic interface of data from outside systems (for example Overlake Hospital, Virginia Mason).  While this is a good thing, it creates some challenges when using tools within Epic. 

For example, a postassium result generated from Overlake is a different test than one completed in our lab, which is also different from one processed by PAML (Spokane).  These tests are tagged differently….and while you can easily see them under Chart Review….these test results are not currently picked up when you use a SmartLink like .llpot (last lab potassium) to capture these in a chart note.  Consequently, you will have seen an Overlake (OVL) potassium result while reviewing the chart, but when documenting it, it’s not there.

By creating a uniform “Base name” for each of these common tests in Epic, while these results come to us from different sources and are tagged/labeled differently, we will then be able to make sure the various SmartTools behave as we would expect them to…..when I want to document the last 3 PSA results, last 3 glucoses or last 3 potassiums…..the link will bring those into my note regardless of where the test was run….like I’d think it should work.

This is something we need to keep paying attention into the future to as we add new interfaces for data coming into Epic.  Step 1 was coming up with these new Base Names for commonly run tests that would make sense and technically work with our various electronic systems.  The next step is these new Base Names need to be built in Epic, the hope is to have that completed by the end of the month (end of September).

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