Good practice statements on safe laboratory testing: a mixed methods approach by the Linneaus collaboration on patient safety in primary care

Paul Bowie (Lead / Corresponding author), Eleanor Forrest, Julie Price, Wim Verstappen, David Cunningham, Lyn Halley, Suzanne Grant, Moya Kelly, John Mckay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: The systems-based management of laboratory test ordering and results handling is a known source of error in primary care settings worldwide. The consequences are wide-ranging for patients (e.g. avoidable harm or poor care experience), general practitioners (e.g. delayed clinical decision making and potential medico-legal implications) and the primary care organization (e.g. increased allocation of resources to problem-solve and dealing with complaints). Guidance is required to assist care teams to minimize associated risks and improve patient safety.

    Objective: To identify, develop and build expert consensus on ‘good practice’ guidance statements to inform the implementation of safe systems for ordering laboratory tests and managing results in European primary care settings.

    Methods: Mixed methods studies were undertaken in the UK and Ireland, and the findings were triangulated to develop ‘good practice’ statements. Expert consensus was then sought on the findings at the wider European level via a Delphi group meeting during 2013.

    Results: We based consensus on 10 safety domains and developed 77 related ‘good practice’ statements (≥ 80% agreement levels) judged to be essential to creating safety and minimizing risks in laboratory test ordering and subsequent results handling systems in international primary care.

    Conclusion: Guidance was developed for improving patient safety in this important area of primary care practice. We need to consider how this guidance can be made accessible to frontline care teams, utilized by clinical educators and improvement advisers, implemented by decision makers and evaluated to determine acceptability, feasibility and impacts on patient safety.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-25
    Number of pages7
    JournalEuropean Journal of General Practice
    Volume21
    Issue numberSuppl. 1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Primary care
    • Laboratory tests
    • Patient safety
    • Results management
    • Linneaus collaboration

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