Friday, July 6, 2012
Our Quality Reports Editor Dr. Alex Kemper offers the following preview of what’s being published in the newest section of our journal:
One of the greatest challenges in pediatric outpatient care is timely follow-up after an abnormal laboratory test. The challenges grow exponentially with confidential testing in adolescents. Dr. Huppert et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3326) share their experience in STI follow-up from the emergency department setting. Through a series of tests of change, they found that efforts to obtain patients’ cell phone numbers and providing an activation card that allowed patients to call and retrieve test results significantly improved follow-up. Although not perfect, this process was effective and, I suspect, improved outcomes and could have even reduced further disease transmission (although this is just an assumption on my part). Regardless, this is a highly feasible strategy. I suspect that in the future, patient activation cards with call-back number for lab results will be replaced by electronic medical record-based patient portals. Patient communication, including laboratory follow-up, is a ripe area for quality improvement. Please share what quality-improvement activities you are involved with to address this through e-letters, our Facebook page, or as a Quality Report.
Posted by Dr. Lewis R. First at 12:01 AM