Utilizing UTILITIES: An in-depth efficiency analysis of clinical laboratory information management systems
This summer I am working primarily with a proprietary computer application developed by Vanderbilt Vaccine Center (VVC) for laboratory management, named UTILITIES. The goal is to do an overview of UTILITIES, specifically the Donor database sub-group, and conduct an efficiency/efficacy review. This review will focus mainly on the Donor database as well as interoperability with other components of the laboratory information management system. UTILITIES, although an efficient method of logging information, is currently more of a necessity than a tool/asset. It is hypothesized that an increase in efficiency/accuracy of data entry into UTILITIES can have a tangible impact on research, productivity, and external validity. Interviews of members of the lab will be conducted to generate general opinions along with probable suggestions on the usage of UTILITIES. Data analysis will involve the VVC IT support team and involve statistical usage. A method to measure the efficiency of using UTILITIES in certain scenarios will also be explored. In the end, certain conclusions are being aimed for including: a chart displaying the various usage by different systems within UTILITIES and explicit conclusions on the importance of data entry and proper linkage. A comparison of proposed edits/modifications of the current system and the UTILITIES update will also occur, creating possible further study. Another direct conclusion of the study would be suggestions on how to increase efficiency/decrease difficulty of data entry. This project will help provide the laboratory with organizational techniques within the databases and provide insight into areas for future improvement in database management.