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Advancing laboratory medicine in hospitals through health information exchange : a survey of specialist physicians in Canada

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Raymond, Louis
Maillet, Éric
Trudel, Marie-Claude
Ortiz de Guinea, Ana
Paré, Guy
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BioMed Central Ltd.
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Background: Laboratory testing occupies a prominent place in health care. Information technology systems havethe potential to empower laboratory experts and to enhance the interpretation of test results in order to bettersupport physicians in their quest for better and safer patient care. This study sought to develop a better understanding ofwhich laboratory information exchange (LIE) systems and features specialist physicians are using in hospital settings toconsult their patients’laboratory test results, and what benefit they derive from such use. Methods: As part of a broader research program on the use of health information exchange systems for laboratorymedicine in Quebec, Canada, this study was designed as on online survey. Our sample is composed of 566 specialist physicians working in hospital settings, out of the 1512 physicians who responded to the survey (response rate of 17%).Respondents are representative of the targeted population of specialist physicians in terms of gender, age and hospital location.Results: We first observed that 80% of the surveyed physicians used the province-wide interoperable electronic health records (iEHR) system and 93% used a laboratory results viewer (LRV) to consult laboratory test results and most (72%) useboth systems to retrieve lab results. Next, our findings reveal important differences in the capabilities available in eachtype of system and in the use of these capabilities. Third, there are differences in the nature of the perceived benefits obtained from the use of each of these two systems. Last, the extent of use of an LRV is strongly influenced by the ITartefact itself (i.e., the hospital’s LRV available capabilities) while the use of the provincial iEHR system is influenced by its organizational context (i.e. the hospital’s size and location). Conclusions: The main contribution of this study lies in its insights into the role played by context in shaping physicians’ choices about which laboratory information exchange systems to adopt and which features to use, and the different perceptions they have about benefits arising from such use.One related implication for practice is that success of LIE initiatives should not be solely assessed with basic usage statistics.
BMC medical informatics and decision making, Vol. 20, 44 (2020)
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Laboratory information exchange , Information systems , Laboratory medicine , Specialist physician , Hospital , Perceived benefits , Online survey research
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article de recherche