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Not all critical laboratory values are equally urgent to physicians
  1. Che-Kim Tan1,2,
  2. Chih-Cheng Lai3,
  3. Jing-Jia Lin4,
  4. Ya-Wei Kuo1,
  5. Hung-Jung Lin1,5
  1. 1Patient Safety Committee, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  2. 2Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  3. 3Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Liouying, Tainan, Taiwan
  4. 4Information Systems Office, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  5. 5Department of Emergency Medicine, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to Hung-Jung Lin, 901, Chunghua Road, Yungkang City, Tainan County 710, Taiwan; hjlin52{at}

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We read with interest the randomised controlled trial about the effect of an automated paging system on response time to critical laboratory values by Etchells et al.1 The authors found a statistically insignificant reduction of median response time from 39.5  to 16 min in the automated paging system. Critical laboratory values of various blood tests including potassium, sodium, haemoglobin and others were included in the study. However, we doubt that physicians will treat all the alerts equally in the sense of …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Chi-Mei Medical Center.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.