Interpretive Comments on Test Results: How Far Should Labs Go?
MedSun: Newsletter #45, February 2010
AACC Clinical Laboratory News
With today's focus on patient safety, diagnostic errors have been put in the spotlight. Whether the result of systemic mistakes by an organization or those of individual clinicians, some reports have noted clinicians' failure to correctly interpret diagnostic tests, pushing the problem uncomfortably close to the walls of the lab. One explanation put forward for missed diagnoses is the sheer volume of information clinicians need to process in order to do their jobs. In order to help clinicians understand test results, some labs have turned to including interpretive comments on their lab reports. Those labs experimenting with interpretive comments say they tread a fine line between helping physicians assimilate information from the lab without contributing to the information overload so pervasive in medicine.
AACC Clinical Laboratory News. Interpretive Comments on Test Results: How Far Should Labs Go? Malone, Bill. December 2009.