Computerization of a hospital clinical microbiology laboratory

J. H. Jorgensen, P. Holmes, W. L. Williams, J. L. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Microbial Pathology Laboratory of the Bexar County Hospital District recently implemented a computerized on-line record-keeping system using a central computer, which is shared with certain other hospital departments. The goals of the system were to promote more efficient handling of culture results within the laboratory, to provide patient care areas with easily understood current reports, and to provide an easily accessible historical data base for use in producing laboratory statistics. The system uses cathode ray tube consoles (CRT's) for data entry and certain report inquiries. Formats for CRT screens were designed to display automatically appropriate information needed for the most frequent types of specimens and most frequently isolated microorganisms. Program edits were designed to control errors, especially those involving antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Entry of certain atypical reports requires verification, and, if necessary, an override of the program's edit logic. Several types of computer hard-copy copy reports are generated for patient care areas, including a daily preliminary report, a daily activity report, and a weekly cumulative report. The computer also generates daily and weekly laboratory logs, which become part of the laboratory's permanent record. Certain specialized reports such as a list of all cultures on which an override has been entered, a listing of all unusual isolates, and a daily epidemiologic report are generated by the computer. The system has allowed more rapid retrieval of patient data and has supplied quality control and epidemiologic information not available previously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-614
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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