Providers Electing to Receive Electronic Result Notifications: Demographics and Motivation

Benjamin H. Slovis, William J.K. Vervilles, David K. Vawdrey, Jordan L. Swartz, Catherine Winans, John C. Kairys, Jeffrey M. Riggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Automated electronic result notifications can alert health care providers of important clinical results. In contrast to historical notification systems, which were predominantly focused on critical laboratory abnormalities and often not very customizable, modern electronic health records provide capabilities for subscription-based electronic notification. This capability has not been well studied. Objectives The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of when and how a provider decides to use a subscription-based electronic notification. Better appreciation for the factors that contribute to selecting such notifications could aid in improving the functionality of these tools. Methods We performed an 8-month quantitative assessment of 3,291 notifications and a qualitative survey assessment of 73 providers who utilized an elective notification tool in our electronic health record. Results We found that most notifications were requested by attending physicians (∼60%) and from internal medicine specialty (∼25%). Most providers requested only a few notifications while a small minority (nearly 5%) requested 10 or more in the study period. The majority (nearly 30%) of requests were for chemistry laboratories. Survey respondents reported using the tool predominantly for important or time-sensitive laboratories. Overall opinions of the tool were positive (median = 7 out of 10, 95% confidence interval: 6-9), with 40% of eligible respondents reporting the tool improved quality of care. Reported examples included time to result review, monitoring of heparin drips, and reviewing pathology results. Conclusion Developing an understanding for when and how providers decide to be notified of clinical results can help aid in the design and improvement of clinical tools, such as improved elective notifications. These tools may lead to reduced time to result review which could in turn improve clinical care quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-691
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Clinical Informatics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • alerts
  • asynchronous
  • electronic health records
  • notifications
  • quality


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