Reporting System to Improve Safety of the Blood Supply
Project Award Date: 05-01-1999
Investigators at the University of Kansas will continue refining and expanding a case-based reasoning computerized search engine that they have built. The dynamic engine will replace the rather static, "electronic graveyard"-type system in place now. When an adverse situation is reported nationally, blood banks now have the ability to search their databases to see if a similar event has taken place at their location. In addition, they will soon have the capability of searching the aggregate, national database, which will enable them to benchmark and view national trends.
A mechanism to allow for the easy formulation of customized user queries is also under development at KU. This will allow MERS-TM users to identify and study specific problem areas in their institution.
The KU researchers continue to modify the computer programs within MERS-TM to improve their utility and search capability. A Web-based data input form has been developed as a supplement to the smart paper-based format. For those institutions with sufficient computer capability, the new input process may completely eliminate the need for paper. The Web-based input form will be used in a pilot program, which began in April 2001, and is being developed as a prototype for the FDA error and accident reporting system, which was mandated as of May 2001.
During recent work, we have heavily modified our Web-based retrieval engine. The engine now consists of three separate components: (1) A case-based component that uses partial matching and semantic similarity to identify related event reports. The retrieval engine is integrated with the Access database system using the OBDM standard. (2) A database retrieval component that allows users to enter queries to the Access database through a graphical interface. (3) A database definition component that allows users to create and manage new databases of events, define report accession numbers, and so on.
The whole software has been extensively tested and debugged, and has been bundled with an installation program. This allows users to easily load it on a computer and start working immediately. We have produced user and programmer manuals to accompany the software as well.
Primary Sponsor(s): Columbia University (subcontractor); Southwestern Medical Center (main contractor)