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Process analysis of the patient pathway for automated data collection: an exemplar using pituitary surgery

Hanrahan, John G., Carter, Alexander W. ORCID: 0000-0003-3793-407X, Khan, Danyal Z., Funnell, Jonathan P., Williams, Simon C., Dorward, Neil L., Baldeweg, Stephanie E. and Marcus, Hani J. (2024) Process analysis of the patient pathway for automated data collection: an exemplar using pituitary surgery. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 14. ISSN 1664-2392

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Identification Number: 10.3389/fendo.2023.1188870


Introduction: Automation of routine clinical data shows promise in relieving health systems of the burden associated with manual data collection. Identifying consistent points of documentation in the electronic health record (EHR) provides salient targets to improve data entry quality. Using our pituitary surgery service as an exemplar, we aimed to demonstrate how process mapping can be used to identify reliable areas of documentation in the patient pathway to target structured data entry interventions. Materials and methods: This mixed methods study was conducted in the largest pituitary centre in the UK. Purposive snowball sampling identified frontline stakeholders for process mapping to produce a patient pathway. The final patient pathway was subsequently validated against a real-world dataset of 50 patients who underwent surgery for pituitary adenoma. Events were categorized by frequency and mapped to the patient pathway to determine critical data points. Results: Eighteen stakeholders encompassing all members of the multidisciplinary team (MDT) were consulted for process mapping. The commonest events recorded were neurosurgical ward round entries (N = 212, 14.7%), pituitary clinical nurse specialist (CNS) ward round entries (N = 88, 6.12%) and pituitary MDT treatment decisions (N = 88, 6.12%) representing critical data points. Operation notes and neurosurgical ward round entries were present for every patient. 43/44 (97.7%) had a pre-operative pituitary MDT entry, pre-operative clinic letter, a post-operative clinic letter, an admission clerking entry, a discharge summary, and a post-operative histopathology pituitary multidisciplinary (MDT) team entries. Conclusion: This is the first study to produce a validated patient pathway of patients undergoing pituitary surgery, serving as a comparison to optimise this patient pathway. We have identified salient targets for structured data entry interventions, including mandatory datapoints seen in every admission and have also identified areas to improve documentation adherence, both of which support movement towards automation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Authors
Divisions: Health Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RD Surgery
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2024 09:36
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 18:36

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