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Translating electronic health record-based patient safety algorithms from research to clinical practice at multiple sites.

Zimolzak AJ, Singh H, Murphy DR, Wei L, Memon SA, Upadhyay DK, Korukonda S, Zubkoff L, Sittig DF. Translating electronic health record-based patient safety algorithms from research to clinical practice at multiple sites. BMJ health & care informatics. 2022 Jul 1; 29(1).

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INTRODUCTION: Researchers are increasingly developing algorithms that impact patient care, but algorithms must also be implemented in practice to improve quality and safety. OBJECTIVE: We worked with clinical operations personnel at two US health systems to implement algorithms to proactively identify patients without timely follow-up of abnormal test results that warrant diagnostic evaluation for colorectal or lung cancer. We summarise the steps involved and lessons learned. METHODS: Twelve sites were involved across two health systems. Implementation involved extensive software documentation, frequent communication with sites and local validation of results. Additionally, we used automated edits of existing code to adapt it to sites' local contexts. RESULTS: All sites successfully implemented the algorithms. Automated edits saved sites significant work in direct code modification. Documentation and communication of changes further aided sites in implementation. CONCLUSION: Patient safety algorithms developed in research projects were implemented at multiple sites to monitor for missed diagnostic opportunities. Automated algorithm translation procedures can produce more consistent results across sites.

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