Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21

Improving critical value notification through secure text messaging

Geisinger Medical Center, Laboratory Medicine, Danville, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jordan Erik Olson
Geisinger Medical Center, Laboratory Medicine, 100 N. Academy Avenue (19-30), Danville, PA 17822
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_19_20

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Background: To improve communication between clinical providers and the laboratory, we recently implemented secure text messaging for our critical value notifications. This was done to communicate laboratory critical values (CV) to providers faster so changes to patient care could be done faster. Our previous method of communicating CV to providers was paging and relied on a call back to receive the critical value. Methods: We implemented delivery of CV through a secure texting application in which the CV was directly communicated to the provider on their smart phone device. Results: The mean pre-implementation turnaround time (TAT) was 11.3 minutes (median: 7 minutes, range: 0 - 210 minutes). The mean post- secure text messaging implementation TAT was 3.03 minutes (median: 0.89 minutes, range: < 1 - 95 minutes).When comparing pre- and post-implementation, there was a significant reduction in the TAT from using secure text messaging (p < 0.001). Of the 234 surveys sent out, 81 providers responded (35%). Of these responses, 85% reported that critical value notification by secure text messaging has increased their efficiency and 95% reported that critical value notification is more effective than a pager-phone-call based system. 83% of providers reported that they were able to provide better, faster care to their patients. Conclusions: Using secure text messaging (STM) to deliver critical values significantly reduces the CV TAT. Furthermore, providers noted they preferred to receive CV notifications through STM and reported that they were able to provide more effective care to their patients.

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