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Hum Pathol. 2007 Dec;38(12):1727-35. Epub 2007 Oct 18.

Personal digital assistant-enabled report content knowledgebase results in more complete pathology reports and enhances resident learning.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA.


We developed a personal digital assistant-based knowledgebase of surgical pathology report content recommendations and performed an experimental trial to test if the knowledgebase improved report completeness. The 15 experimental group and 13 control group residents were given microscope slides and corresponding reports with the final diagnosis section blanked-out, and were asked to complete the final diagnosis section during 3 study episodes (T0, T1, and T2). At T0 (baseline), experimental group and control group produced reports of comparable completeness. During T1, experimental group was allowed to use the knowledgebase while completing reports. During T1, experimental group produced more complete reports and were better judges of report completeness than control group. At T2, when neither group used the knowledgebase, experimental group's performance was still statistically better than control group's. Use of the knowledgebase did not ensure report completeness, but was associated with more complete reports and more accurate judgments of report completeness, and this performance advantage persisted in the absence of the knowledgebase.

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