Patient Safety Alert 15: Test Result Notification (PDF)

The AMC PSO recently held a collaborative convening session of its Ambulatory Patient Safety Leaders in order to both discuss current issues and possible solutions and propagate the natural progression of CRICO’s established mission of helping health care providers turn credible data into effective action.

Alert

A health care professional’s failure to follow-up on abnormal diagnostic test results represents one of the most problematic safety issues in the practice of outpatient medicine (Muff and Bates, 2001; Poon et al. 2003) and is an issue that has garnered national attention in the courts, the press, and among professional medical associations.

  • As discussed by Poon et al. (2004), previously published peer reviewed papers examining the communication of test results to patients indicate that: 36% of clinicians do not routinely inform their patients about test results.

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A health care professional’s failure to follow-up on abnormal diagnostic test results represents one of the most problematic safety issues in the practice of outpatient medicine.

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