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Nurses, pagers, and patient-specific criteria: three keys to improved critical value reporting.

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  • 1LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.


At LDS Hospital, we have developed and evaluated a computerized critical value reporting system based on digital pagers. Criteria used to identify critical values are patient-specific. An evaluation of the system was conducted from October 23, 1993 to January 21, 1994. Results showed that 100% of all critical values (497 values in the form of 335 alerts) were reported to clinicians within an average of 38.6 minutes, and that 51% of all alerts were received within 12 minutes. Data also showed that 92% of the alerts were considered valid, that 76% were communicated directly to the primary care nurse, and that 67% of the time nurses were previously unaware of the critical value(s).

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