No “buddy” system if GP away
A buddy system should be in place so that results are not missed when staff are absent from the practice. This ensures that no urgent abnormal results are overlooked, or a necessary immediate response is delayed.
A buddy system should be in place so that results are not missed when staff are absent from the practice
Clinical staff not reviewing all results
In 6% of the practices visited, the clinician only reviewed test results marked as abnormal owing to time constraints. All other results were sent to the patients’ records unread. This system is unsafe. Clinicians should review all test results.
Blood test ordered, not recorded onto the computer
To ensure continuity of care, it is essential that all tests requested are recorded in the patient’s computer record, by the clinician at the point of ordering and by type, eg, FBC U&Es tc. Entering ‘for normal bloods’ is not good practice.
What should staff do if someone other than the patient answers the phone when they try and relay a test result?
Any communication about test results should only be transmitted to the patient and not to relatives or others without the patient’s consent. Develop a simple consent form which would give permission for a relative (of, for example, an elderly patient) to be able to discuss certain issues with the practice on the patient’s behalf, eg, test results, repeat prescriptions. This form, once completed by the patient, should be scanned into the patient’s record and a note made on the computer so that it is visible when a family member speaks to the practice.