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Delivering safe and effective test-result communication, management and follow-up: A mixed-methods study protocol


Dahm, MR and Georgiou, A and Westbrook, JI and Greenfield, D and Horvath, AR and Wakefield, D and Li, L and Hillman, K and Bolton, P and Brown, A and Jones, G and Herkes, R and Lindeman, R and Legg, M and Makeham, M and Moses, D and Badmus, D and Campbell, C and Hardie, R-A and Li, J and McCaughey, E and Sezgin, G and Thomas, J and Wabe, N, Delivering safe and effective test-result communication, management and follow-up: A mixed-methods study protocol, BMJ Open, 8 Article e020235. ISSN 2044-6055 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2018 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020235


Introduction: The failure to follow-up pathology and medical imaging test results poses patient-safety risks which threaten the effectiveness, quality and safety of patient care. The objective of this project is to: (1) improve the effectiveness and safety of test-result management through the establishment of clear governance processes of communication, responsibility and accountability; (2) harness health information technology (IT) to inform and monitor test-result management; (3) enhance the contribution of consumers to the establishment of safe and effective test-result management systems.

Methods and analysis: This convergent mixed-methods project triangulates three multistage studies at seven adult hospitals and one paediatric hospital in Australia.

Study 1 adopts qualitative research approaches including semistructured interviews, focus groups and ethnographic observations to gain a better understanding of test-result communication and management practices in hospitals, and to identify patient-safety risks which require quality-improvement interventions.

Study 2 analyses linked sets of routinely collected healthcare data to examine critical test-result thresholds and test-result notification processes. A controlled before-and-after study across three emergency departments will measure the impact of interventions (including the use of IT) developed to improve the safety and quality of test-result communication and management processes.

Study 3 adopts a consumer-driven approach, including semistructured interviews, and the convening of consumer-reference groups and community forums. The qualitative data will identify mechanisms to enhance the role of consumers in test-management governance processes, and inform the direction of the research and the interpretation of findings.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:healthcare, safety, quality, patient centered-care
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health informatics and information systems
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Georgiou, A (Associate Professor Andrew Georgiou)
UTAS Author:Greenfield, D (Professor David Greenfield)
ID Code:123968
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:College Office - CoBE
Deposited On:2018-02-03
Last Modified:2019-03-01
Downloads:153 View Download Statistics

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