To investigate physician practices in the handling of patients' test results from the time the test was ordered until the time any required follow-up was completed.
Survey of 161 attending physicians and 101 residents in family practice and internal medicine practicing at a large urban teaching hospital and 21 suburban primary care practices in Southeastern Michigan. The survey included questions about physician demographics, and whether physicians have methods for ensuring that (1) the results of all tests ordered are received, (2) all patients are notified of results, (3) all patient notification is documented, and (4) all required follow-up is done. Physicians were also asked to self-rate the reliability of their methods and the importance of various steps in the handling of patients' test results.
The response rate was 79% for both attending physicians and residents. Approximately 17% to 32% of physicians reported having no reliable method to make sure that the results of all tests ordered are received. One third of physicians do not always notify patients of abnormal results. The most common reasons reported for not notifying patients were that the results were trivial and that the patient was expected to return to the clinic soon. Residents were significantly less likely to document notifying patients of abnormal results (P<.001). Only 23% of physicians reported having a reliable method for identifying patients overdue for follow-up.
Lack of methods to ensure that the results of tests ordered were received, dependence on follow-up visits to inform patients of results, and lack of documentation were relatively common among physicians surveyed. These could lead to an increased risk of malpractice litigation and suboptimal patient care.(Arch Intern Med. 1996;156:327-331)
Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more
Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features
Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)
Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours
Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and
Association With Material Stature
Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early
dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal
Thank you for submitting a comment on this article. It will be reviewed by JAMA Internal Medicine editors. You will be notified when your comment has been published. Comments should not exceed 500 words of text and 10 references.
Do not submit personal medical questions or information that could identify a specific patient, questions about a particular case, or general inquiries to an author. Only content that has not been published, posted, or submitted elsewhere should be submitted. By submitting this Comment, you and any coauthors transfer copyright to the journal if your Comment is posted.
* = Required Field
Disclosure of Any Conflicts of Interest*
Indicate all relevant conflicts of interest of each author below, including all relevant financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including, but not limited to, employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speakers’ bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued. If all authors have none, check "No potential conflicts or relevant financial interests" in the box below. Please also indicate any funding received in support of this work. The information will be posted with your response.
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 49
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
and access these and other features:
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.