Effect of a laboratory result pager on provider behavior in a neonatal intensive care unit

L. Samal, T. A. Stavroudis, R. E. Miller, H. P. Lehmann, C. U. Lehmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: A computerized laboratory result paging system (LRPS) that alerts providers about abnormal results ("push") may improve upon active laboratory result review ("pull"). However, implementing such a system in the intensive care setting may be hindered by low signal-to-noise ratio, which may lead to alert fatigue. Objective: To evaluate the impact of an LRPS in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Methods: Utilizing paper chart review, we tallied provider orders following an abnormal laboratory result before and after implementation of an LRPS. Orders were compared with a predefined set of appropriate orders for such an abnormal result. The likelihood of a provider response in the post-implementation period as compared to the pre-implementation period was analyzed using logistic regression. The provider responses were analyzed using logistic regression to control for potential confounders. Results: The likelihood of a provider response to an abnormal laboratory result did not change significantly after implementation of an LRPS. (Odds Ratio 0.90, 95% CI 0.63-1.30, p-value 0.58) However, when providers did respond to an alert, the type of response was different. The proportion of repeat laboratory tests increased. (26/378 vs. 7/278, p-value = 0.02) Conclusion: Although the laboratory result pager altered healthcare provider behavior in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it did not increase the overall likelihood of provider response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Clinical Informatics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical laboratory information systems
  • Hospital communication systems
  • Medical informatics applications
  • Reminder systems
  • Time factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Information Management


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