Using freely accessible databases for laboratory medicine research: experience with MIMIC database
As staffs in clinical laboratories are not routinely involved in the management of patients, it is difficult for them to perform researches designed to explore the clinical utility of laboratory tests. Using publicly accessible clinical databases for clinical research represents an alternative way of performing studies investigating the clinical aspects of laboratory tests. Here, we introduced a freely accessible critical care database named Multiparameter Intelligent Monitoring in Intensive Care II (MIMIC-II). This database contains the results of many laboratory tests and thus can be used to perform laboratory medicine research. The steps to access this database were indicated, and the structure of this database was introduced. Some tips in using this database were shared.