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Delivering safe and effective test-result communication, management and follow-up: A mixed-methods study protocol

Dahm, MR, Georgiou, A, Westbrook, J, Greenfield, D ORCID: 0000-0002-0927-6025, Horvath, R, Wakefield, D, Li, L, Hillman, K, Bolton, P, Brown, A, Jones, G, Herkes, R, Lindeman, R, Legg, M, Makeham, M, Moses, D, Badmus, D, Campbell, C, Hardie, R-A, McCaughey, E, Sezgin, G and Thomas, J 2018 , 'Delivering safe and effective test-result communication, management and follow-up: A mixed-methods study protocol' , BMJ Open, vol. 8 , pp. 1-11 , doi:

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IntroductionThe failure to follow-up pathology and medical imaging test results poses patient-safety risks which threaten the effectiveness, quality and safety of patient care. The objective of this project is to: (1) improve the effectiveness and safety of test-result management through the establishment of clear governance processes of communication, responsibility and accountability; (2) harness health information technology (IT) to inform and monitor test-result management; (3) enhance the contribution of consumers to the establishment of safe and effective test-result management systems.Methods and analysisThis convergent mixed-methods project triangulates three multistage studies at seven adult hospitals and one paediatric hospital in Australia.Study 1 adopts qualitative research approaches including semistructured interviews, focus groups and ethnographic observations to gain a better understanding of test-result communication and management practices in hospitals, and to identify patient-safety risks which require quality-improvement interventions.Study 2 analyses linked sets of routinely collected healthcare data to examine critical test-result thresholds and test-result notification processes. A controlled before-and-after study across three emergency departments will measure the impact of interventions (including the use of IT) developed to improve the safety and quality of test-result communication and management processes.Study 3 adopts a consumer-driven approach, including semistructured interviews, and the convening of consumer-reference groups and community forums. The qualitative data will identify mechanisms to enhance the role of consumers in test-management governance processes, and inform the direction of the research and the interpretation of findings.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Dahm, MR and Georgiou, A and Westbrook, J and Greenfield, D and Horvath, R and Wakefield, D and Li, L and Hillman, K and Bolton, P and Brown, A and Jones, G and Herkes, R and Lindeman, R and Legg, M and Makeham, M and Moses, D and Badmus, D and Campbell, C and Hardie, R-A and McCaughey, E and Sezgin, G and Thomas, J
Keywords: healthcare, safety, quality, patient centered-care
Journal or Publication Title: BMJ Open
Publisher: BMJ Group
ISSN: 2044-6055
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2018 The AuthorsLicensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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