ITTC Project

Reporting System to Improve Safety of the Blood Supply

Project Award Date: 05-01-1999


Investigators at the University of Kansas will continue refining and expanding a case-based reasoning computerized search engine that they have built. The dynamic engine will replace the rather static, "electronic graveyard"-type system in place now. When an adverse situation is reported nationally, blood banks now have the ability to search their databases to see if a similar event has taken place at their location. In addition, they will soon have the capability of searching the aggregate, national database, which will enable them to benchmark and view national trends.

A mechanism to allow for the easy formulation of customized user queries is also under development at KU. This will allow MERS-TM users to identify and study specific problem areas in their institution.

The KU researchers continue to modify the computer programs within MERS-TM to improve their utility and search capability. A Web-based data input form has been developed as a supplement to the smart paper-based format. For those institutions with sufficient computer capability, the new input process may completely eliminate the need for paper. The Web-based input form will be used in a pilot program, which began in April 2001, and is being developed as a prototype for the FDA error and accident reporting system, which was mandated as of May 2001.

During recent work, we have heavily modified our Web-based retrieval engine. The engine now consists of three separate components: (1) A case-based component that uses partial matching and semantic similarity to identify related event reports. The retrieval engine is integrated with the Access database system using the OBDM standard. (2) A database retrieval component that allows users to enter queries to the Access database through a graphical interface. (3) A database definition component that allows users to create and manage new databases of events, define report accession numbers, and so on.

The whole software has been extensively tested and debugged, and has been bundled with an installation program. This allows users to easily load it on a computer and start working immediately. We have produced user and programmer manuals to accompany the software as well.


Faculty Investigator(s): Costas Tsatsoulis (PI)

Student Investigator(s): Heather Amthauer, Brent Stephens, Qiang Zhang

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): Columbia University (subcontractor); Southwestern Medical Center (main contractor)

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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