Closed loop communication of test results. It means that every test result is sent, received, and addressed in a timely manner, and the patient is notified of the results and next steps. It’s an outcome we strive for but often fail at. But, even with the ongoing challenges, there are steps you can take to improve the process.
Closed Loop Communication Of Test Results
In fact, a recent Perspectives article summarizes their Quick Safety publication and potential process improvement steps.
One example details suspicious radiologic findings that require follow up. But, the findings don’t get communicated which delays additional workup and treatment. The fact is, this break in the process is an ongoing safety challenge in healthcare today.
Also, they provide seven safety actions to consider. Admittedly, hardwiring patient notification documentation of the millions of diagnostic tests performed each year is a massive undertaking.
The Quick Safety also discusses the potential value of patient portals. But unfortunately, few patients currently use them.
One important suggestion is to educate patients to make greater use of their portal. This will allow you to use them more effectively. We are all married to our smart phones which makes it easy to deliver notifications from an app. But, every app on our smart phones already sends us important notifications of far less significance. And, the overwhelming number of these sometimes has a numbing effect.
Still, this is a very important issue that we have all seen occur. In fact, developing a better process is a worthy goal.
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