European views on patients directly obtaining their laboratory test results
AuthorsWatson, Ian D.
Oosterhuis, Wytze P.
Jorgensen, Per E.
Dikmen, Zeliha Gunnur
Article (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Medicine is a highly professionalized endeavour, by tradition centred on the authority of physicians. Better education and the advent of the information age cater for increased demands on society in general and on health care in particular to enable people to make informed decisions regarding themselves. Participation in medical decisions requires informed knowledge which is hard to obtain without substantial and time consuming professional help. Methods: We performed a survey amongst the member organizations of European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) in order to investigate the recognition and preparedness of providing help to patients in interpreting their laboratory results. Results: Out of 40 EFLM Member Societies, 27 sent their responses to the survey. In most cases the first line delivery of laboratory results to physicians is by computer link (63%). Patients receive their laboratory results on demand from their physician in 60% of cas...es. However, 34% of laboratory specialists showed a negative attitude for delivering laboratory results to patients. Yet, in 48% of countries 1-5 patients per day ask a laboratory specialist about the significance of laboratory results outside the reference range. When patients are informed about the purpose of laboratory testing, they seek information primarily from their physician, followed by the internet and the Specialist in Laboratory Medicine. Conclusions: Changing practices increasingly enabling patient access to their records are on the increase facilitated by recent innovations in information technologies. Successful transfer of some of the responsibilities of physicians, demands a mutual triangular dialogue between the patient, their physician and laboratory medicine.
Source:Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, 2015, 53, 12, 1961-1966
- Walter de Gruyter Gmbh, Berlin