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Electronic triggers to identify delays in follow-up of mammography: harnessing the power of big data in health care.

Murphy DR, Meyer AND, Vaghani V, et al. Electronic Triggers to Identify Delays in Follow-Up of Mammography: Harnessing the Power of Big Data in Health Care. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018;15(2):287-295. doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2017.10.001.

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November 29, 2017
Murphy DR, Meyer AND, Vaghani V, et al. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018;15:287-295.

Electronic triggers are critical tools for detecting adverse events, diagnostic errors, and other safety hazards. Researchers developed an electronic health record–based trigger tool to identify delays in abnormal mammogram follow-up at Veterans Affairs facilities. The tool was moderately effective in detecting diagnostic and treatment delays (positive predictive value 71%) and rarely failed to identify a delay (negative predictive value 93%). Inability to schedule timely follow-up and other systems issues were the most common sources of delay. This study is a rigorous example of how trigger tools can detect safety hazards and improve timely cancer diagnosis. A recent Annual Perspective describes how electronic health records can both help and hinder patient safety.

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Murphy DR, Meyer AND, Vaghani V, et al. Electronic Triggers to Identify Delays in Follow-Up of Mammography: Harnessing the Power of Big Data in Health Care. J Am Coll Radiol. 2018;15(2):287-295. doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2017.10.001.