Enrico Coiera and Farah Magrabi
Such surveillance typically is used in public health to monitor the spread of infectious diseases. The system was used in research at the University of New South Wales in Sydney to monitor four factors in a tertiary hospital laboratory: total number of records being created, the number of records with missing results, average serum potassium results, and total duplicated tests on a patient.
The researchers, led by Dr. Mei-Sing Ong, wanted to detect HIT system failures causing: data loss at the record level, data loss at the field level, erroneous data, and unintended duplication of data, according to a paper published at the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Statistical models were used to detect system failures using simulated outages lasting 24 hours, with error rates from 1 percent to 35 percent.