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Monitoring & Reporting of Critical Laboratory Tests

The timely monitoring and reporting of laboratory tests and results, especially if the results contain a critical value, is crucial to the safe and effective provision of home infusion therapy.  Monitoring and reporting laboratory tests/results to the prescriber has always been part of the BHI&RS practice, although specific standards for the timeliness of such activities were not well defined.

 

Highlights

 

Baystate Home Infusion & Respiratory Services 

A baseline assessment was completed of the services and the associated laboratory tests/results that are needed to support those services.  Based on the assessment results, BHI&RS identified which laboratory tests/results posed the greatest risks to patients, confirming that they should be reported as critical results. 

  • Critical results are predefined values/interpretations that may indicate a possible life-threatening situation, significant morbidity, or serious adverse consequences for the patient that necessitates immediate clinical attention or treatment. 
  • BHI&RS adopted time targets:
    • Results are communicated within 24 hours of the results being available.
    • If the result is critical, it is reported to the prescriber/designee within one hour.
  • Pharmacists keep a log of response times based on the time targets. 
  • BHI&RS receives a report of critical tests/results from Baystate Reference Laboratories (BRL) to double-check to ensure all data are being captured. 
  • Reporting compliance is monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure adherence and to continue to refine our reporting process as necessary. 
  • This ongoing feedback has resulted in improvement of compliance with important patient safety standards.

 

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