UBC Faculty Research and Publications

An empirical evaluation of computerized databases for emergency care Pugh, George E.; Tan, Joseph K.H.


A field-based evaluation is conducted of a Clinical Computerized Information SystemTM (CCISTM), a medical database product of Micromedex, Inc. Following training, the use of the CCISTM database, word processing and other programs by thirteen full-time practicing emergency physicians in two urban emergency departments of a University-associated teaching hospital was studied over a 1-year period. A tracking program automatically logged frequency and duration of use by the physicians and user satisfaction was assessed by a reliable and validated questionnaire instrument. Based on utilization data and verbal reports of these physicians, CCISTM database searching was not only found to be easy-to-learn but was readily accessible during emergency shifts. Individual physician was found to perform an average of 3.5 searches per month lasting a mean search time of 8 minutes. Positive notes about the CCISTM system included ease-of-use, accuracy of data, accessibility of system and value of output while negative perceptions included a lack of integration with other systems, a lack of system completeness and a high subscription cost. It was suggested that a less costly telephone link to a high-volume Centre would be desirable in actual implementation of the system.

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