Improving pathology reports using business intelligence techniques: An experimental study
Health professionals use pathology reports to monitor and manage a patient’s health. Typically, pathologists diagnose patients’ conditions and produce these reports which are then used as reference by clinicians and eventually shared with the patient. Pathology reports are difficult to interpret as the reports are written using complex medical terminology. As patients only see their doctors for a limited time, the complexity of report content and the manner in which the information is presented in the reports may hinder patients’ understanding of their medical condition and prognosis. The objective of this study was to compare patient comprehension of results from two pathology-reporting styles: the traditional format in current widespread use and new style developed using techniques common in business intelligence system (BI) development. The study found that the reports prepared using a “BI style” improve experimental subject’s understanding and satisfaction with the reports.