Labstand: a computerized system for reporting clinical laboratory data in standard units.
A computerized system, Labstand, is described which was developed to simplify the presentation of laboratory data for the clinician. It converts data into standard units (su) on a scale of 0 to 100, identical for all tests. Conversions are based on both normal and abnormal ranges, determined from clinical experience, to allow both immediate recognition of abnormality and estimation of the degree of abnormality. This paper reports the findings of a study using this system which involved 1,412 abnormal laboratory results. Overall, both recognition and follow-up rates were higher when Labstand was used, but not to a statistically significant level. However, significantly higher follow-up rates were found when Labstand was used by residents with lower than average Internal Medicine National Board scores. In contrast, follow-up was higher when normal range laboratory reports were used by residents with higher than average scores. These findings seem consistent with the fact that use of Labstand requires minimal knowledge of ranges and biological measurement units and may indicate that the lower scoring residents have a greater need for such a new system than do the higher scoring residents.
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