Managing flood of test results

Discussion in 'Synapse' started by Graham, May 24, 2010.

  1. Graham

    Graham Developer Staff Member

    This is useful

    And these recommendations could be useful to implement in your practices:

    8 ways to track test results

    Too often, abnormal test results are not acted upon, delaying care and sometimes harming patients. Clear policies and procedures on handling and communicating test results can help address the problem, experts say. Hospitals, testing labs and physician practices should:

    Define key terms. What makes a test result "critical" or "significantly abnormal?" How quickly does it need to be followed up?

    How does it get communicated to the physician?

    Define which physician on the care team is responsible for following up on a test result to avoid having each doctor assume that another one will.

    Specify who should be contacted with the results. Who in the practice takes the call after-hours? Specify fail-safe communication of abnormal test results to the physician or other health care professional, using read-back to ensure the emergent nature of the result is understood.

    Define verbal or electronic reporting procedures for both critical and significantly abnormal test results. When is it OK for the physician to be notified electronically or by fax, and when is a call necessary?

    Specify the acceptable length of time between when a critical test is ordered and when the result is reported to the physician. For certain critical tests, such as an x-ray in the operating room for a retained foreign body, the time goal could be as short as 30 minutes.

    Define timelines between the availability of test results and when patients are notified, and specify how patients prefer to be notified.

    Focus on patient safety, not just regulatory compliance. Solicit feedback on how test-results communication policies affect the workflow for physicians, nurses and other health professionals.

    Establish who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating test-results communication procedures.

    Source: "Eight Recommendations for Policies for Communicating Abnormal Test Results," The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, May
  2. Jason

    Jason Developer / Handyman Staff Member

    I think EMRs could do a better job of this.
    Would be nice if you could FLAG results in Synapse.

Share This Page