By Dr Christian Schoenmakers, Clinical Chemist/Medical Manager, Elkerliek ziekenhuis
I always like to look to the future. Looking at the big picture helps to identify ways in which we can improve what we do, not just in our lab but in the industry as a whole.
This focus on the future and ways in which we can better our practices and procedures is what led us to Philips, their partnership with PKS and the Clinical Decision Support (LABOSYS CDS) solution less than a year ago.
Initially we implemented CDS to help improve the quality of commentary for our Lipids project. This meant that we could automate personalised and detailed commentary to requesting physicians so they could get more meaningful information on their patient’s results, faster.
When we first started this project only a small number of physicians said they wanted the commentary initially. However, it wasn’t long before word spread about the commentary, and in a short space of time we saw the number grow three-fold within a few months. The process for adding new physicians only takes about 30 seconds as we simply add them to a list in CDS. So whenever another physician hears about it and wants to start receiving similar commentary, we can start delivering it to them almost immediately.
The feedback we received from our customers was incredibly positive, and they immediately noticed the improvement in the quality of the commentary that we were now delivering.
We have set up our knowledge base so there are three different levels of comments, depending on who the requester is and what specialty they have. This means that we are able to deliver commentary that is very personalised and relevant not only to the patient but also the physician receiving the report.
Now we have physicians asking us when we will be adding the next knowledge base as they are eager to receive more commentary about their patients. Ultimately, we have demonstrated how the laboratory can exercise their expertise with precision, consistency and scale to complement the skills of the physician at the bedside for the benefit of the patient.
To see such a significant improvement to the quality of service we deliver to our customers in less than a year has been remarkable. We are now looking to expand the use of CDS to demand management in order to reduce errors and catch unnecessary testing in the pre-analytical phase and appropriate alerting to support our patients in acute care.
With CDS we’re not only looking to the future, we’re living it.