Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Many Patients Not Told About Abnormal Test Results

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows that an average of one out of every 14 patients with clinically significant abnormal results don't get this information from their doctors. Failure to disclose such results can put a patient's health at serious risk.

Doctors' offices without clear procedures for handling test results dropped the ball for as many as one in every four patients; those with standard procedures did so very infrequently or not at all.

The study recommends that patients call for results after a certain period of time if they haven't heard from their doctor. Every responsible physician should get a copy of lab result, sign it, and inform patients directly of the results or ask staff to do so, the authors say. Also, staff should document that a patient has been informed of a test result each time this occurs.


Post a Comment