“Physicians order a lot of tests in primary care. We use tests to diagnose patients’ complaints, monitor chronic diseases, check medication levels and screen for health risks and early disease. Sometimes, even in the office setting, the result for a test can be a matter of life or death.

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But more often, whether the results get reviewed by the physician and to the patient today, tomorrow or even next week, may not matter much to the physician or to the patient. Unfortunately, this laisser-faire attitude about test results has led to clinical offices where missing and lost test results, no patient notifications and lack of follow-up constitute the norm.”

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Elder, N.C. (2015) Laboratory testing in general practice: a patient safety blind spot. BMJ Quality & Safety. 24, p.667-670.

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