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MS Thesis Defense - Gary Peterson

Thesis Title

Effects of Passive Lab Notification Features on Emergency Department Process Times

Date: December 13, 2011
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: HSEB 5100B

Supervisory Committee: Joe Hales, PhD, Stan Huff, MD; Jason Jones, PhD


In order to manage labs and other processes, electronic emergency department tracking systems (EDTS) or whiteboards have evolved features that support clinical, operational, and administrative needs. EDTSs have become increasingly integrated and often augment manual data entry with interfaces and/or context sharing to other systems such as registration, laboratory, radiology, and clinical information systems (CIS). Although the intent of these features is to improve operational efficiency and patient care, the operational and clinical effects of specific integration, such as EDTS /CIS context sharing for lab result review, have received only cursory study. In this setting, EDTS/CIS context sharing automatically passes all necessary user, patient, and application context parameters between  two systems in order to open the CIS lab module for the selected patient when the user is notified in the EDTS that laboratory test results for that patient are available for review.

This study evaluates the effects of adding EDTS/CIS context sharing to an EDTS with lab notifications on ED process times. These effects were measured utilizing a pre-post intervention design conducted on a convenience sample.  A method of analyzing CIS audit logs in combination with EDTS and laboratory information system timestamps was developed to measure patient management processes for quality improvement.


Gary Peterson, BSN is a Masters candidate Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah. He has 15 years of experience in pediatric nursing in a wide range of clinical settings and 5 years of experience in clinical application planning, development, and implementation. His research interests are focused on supporting clinical and operational workflow processes to improve the provision of patient care.