Design and implementation of an automated email notification system for results of tests pending at discharge.


Journal Article

Physicians are often unaware of the results of tests pending at discharge (TPADs). The authors designed and implemented an automated system to notify the responsible inpatient physician of the finalized results of TPADs using secure, network email. The system coordinates a series of electronic events triggered by the discharge time stamp and sends an email to the identified discharging attending physician once finalized results are available. A carbon copy is sent to the primary care physicians in order to facilitate communication and the subsequent transfer of responsibility. Logic was incorporated to suppress selected tests and to limit notification volume. The system was activated for patients with TPADs discharged by randomly selected inpatient-attending physicians during a 6-month pilot. They received approximately 1.6 email notifications per discharged patient with TPADs. Eighty-four per cent of inpatient-attending physicians receiving automated email notifications stated that they were satisfied with the system in a brief survey (59% survey response rate). Automated email notification is a useful strategy for managing results of TPADs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dalal, AK; Schnipper, JL; Poon, EG; Williams, DH; Rossi-Roh, K; Macleay, A; Liang, CL; Nolido, N; Budris, J; Bates, DW; Roy, CL

Published Date

  • July 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 523 - 528

PubMed ID

  • 22268214

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22268214

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1527-974X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1067-5027

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000615


  • eng