Based on our reputation for extracting and connecting knowledge artifacts from disparate resources across the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) enterprise to facilitate validation and reuse, the Center for Knowledge Management (CKM) was approached by medical center leadership to create a solution for extracting and consolidating laboratory data from many sources into one knowledge base to allow for determination of and access to a single source of truth for laboratory testing at VUMC. In response to this charge, the CKM has established a multi-faceted, web-based application – VUMC Lab Tests Expert Guide & Data Repository – to create and maintain metadata, document local practice, and provide evidence for laboratory tests ordered at VUMC.
Currently Center for Knowledge Management (CKM) information scientists work with the VUMC Laboratory Operations Committee to assist in decision-making by providing focused, up-to-date evidence syntheses in response to specific requests regarding laboratory tests’ clinical utility. These syntheses are stored in the secure VUMC Lab Tests Expert Guide & Data Repository, housed within the CKM-developed Clinical Support Knowledge Acquisition & Archival Tool (CS-KAAT), which enables documentation of the evidence delivered for laboratory decision-making, as well as ongoing maintenance and updates.
The CKM evidentiary paradigm crosscuts multiple projects and equips our users with a broad view of the information they need to make evidence-based decisions, and understand institutional decisions surrounding similar clinical situations. The extension of the CKM framework to the lab test domain confirms that institutional knowledge can be curated, structured, and integrated across multiple domains.