begin with an introductory paragraph and end with a conclusion
HERE IS THE CASE STUDY
CHAPTER 2 PAGES 35 AND
A Problem of Display
Timothy B. Patrick
During the course of
EMR implementation project at a large medical center, the issue of how best to
design display screens for the system arises. The particular concern is what
standard codes should be used for the information on the user screens. The
following e-mail is a request for a consultation from an IT staff involved in the
EMR project to a member of the health informatics group:
I need your help with
something, and it’s a pretty big something. I wonder if you or anyone on your
staff would be interested in taking this on as a project?
I’m working on the new
EMR project. One of the things we’re stuck on right now is standard displays of
information in the EMR. Because the record is integrated (which is the good
news and the bad news), most of the tables and code sets are shared among
multiple disciplines. We need to define what we will use for our displays. For
example, the code set we’re working on right now is Units of Measure. Now, you
wouldn’t think it would be too hard to decide what the display for something
like “milligrams” would be. Except the choices are MG, Mg, mg, etc……. And
that’s one of the easy ones.
According to the
medical center’s standard abbreviations, all of the above are perfectly
acceptable. The problem is, to build the EMR, we have to decide on just one. So
far, since we began implementing the EMR, we’ve included a mishmash of
displays, depending on what department we were working with. Lo and behold, now
we’re in a real pickle, and our database is a mess. In the truly integrated
EMR, there can only by one abbreviation displayed for milligrams.
Again, this is just
one example out of literally hundreds (if not thousands) of pieces of
information we need to standardize.
Do you have some time
to help us figure out what standards are out there? We’d like to standardize on
something that is nationally, if not internationally, accepted. It needs to
include content for standards, definitions, and especially abbreviations for
pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and purchasing units. We’d like to have some
standards to present to the EMR Steering Committee and the Medical Records
Committee for consideration.
Do you have any
suggestions? I’d be happy to meet with you and discuss further if you’d like.