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Patient groups, clinicians and healthcare professionals agree – all test results need to be seen, understood and followed up

Dahm, MR, Georgiou, A, Brown, A, Li, J, Lindeman, R, Horvath, AR, Jones, G, Legg, M, Li, Ling, Greenfield, D ORCID: 0000-0002-0927-6025 and Westbrook, JI 2018 , 'Patient groups, clinicians and healthcare professionals agree – all test results need to be seen, understood and followed up' , Diagnosis , pp. 1-7 , doi:

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Background: Diagnostic testing provides integral informationfor the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and managementof disease. Inadequate test result reporting andfollow-up is a major risk to patient safety. Factors contributingto failure to follow-up test results include uncleardelineation of responsibility about who is meant to act ona test result; poor coordination across different levels ofcare; and the absence of integrated health informationsystems for the efficient information communication.Methods: A 2016 Australian Stakeholder Forum broughttogether over 30 representatives from 14 differentconsumer, clinical and management stakeholderorganisations to discuss safe and effective test result communication,management and follow-up. Thematic analysiswas conducted drawing on multimodal data collectedin the form of observational fieldnotes and documentartefacts produced by participants.Results: The forum identified major challenges whichpose immediate risks to patient safety. Participants recommendedpriorities for addressing issues relating to: (i) thegovernance of test result management processes; (ii) integrationof health care processes through the utilisation ofeffective digital health solutions; and (iii) involving patientsas key partners in the decision-making and care process.Conclusions: Stakeholder groups diverged slightly intheir priorities. Consumers highlighted the lack of patientinvolvement in the test result management process butwere less concerned about standardisation of reports andcritical result thresholds than pathologists. The forumforegrounded the need for a systems approach, capable ofidentifying and addressing interconnections and multiplefactors that contribute to poor test result follow-up, with astrong emphasis on enhancing the contribution of patients.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Dahm, MR and Georgiou, A and Brown, A and Li, J and Lindeman, R and Horvath, AR and Jones, G and Legg, M and Li, Ling and Greenfield, D and Westbrook, JI
Keywords: diagnostic error, pathology, patient safety, test result follow-up
Journal or Publication Title: Diagnosis
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH
ISSN: 2194-8011
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright © 2018 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH

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