Should Patients Get Direct Access to Their Laboratory Test Results? An Answer With Many Questions

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association (Impact Factor: 30.39). 11/2011; 306(22):2502-3. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2011.1797
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a relatively common condition not only associated with increased morbidity and mortality but also fuelling End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Among developed nations, Greece has one of the highest ESRD incidence rates, yet there is limited understanding of the epidemiology of earlier stages of CKD. Methods Cross-sectional survey of pre-dialysis CKD outpatients in nephrology clinics in the National Health Care system between October 2009 and October 2010. Demographics, cause of CKD, blood pressure, level of renal function, duration of CKD and nephrology care, and specialty of referral physician were collected and analyzed. Different methods for estimating renal function (Cockroft-Gault [CG], CKD-Epi and MDRD) and staging CKD were assessed for agreement. Results A total of 1,501 patients in 9 centers were enrolled. Diabetic nephropathy was the most common nephrologist assigned cause of CKD (29.7%). In total, 36.5% of patients had self-referred to the nephrologist; patients with diabetes or serum creatinine above 220 ┬Ámol/l (eGFR<40 ml/min/1.73 m2) were more likely to have been referred by a physician. Agreement between MDRD and CKD-Epi, but not between CG, the other estimating equations, was excellent. There was substantial heterogeneity with respect to renal diagnoses, referral patterns and blood pressure among participating centers. Conclusions In this first epidemiologic assessment of CKD in Greece, we documented delayed referral and high rates of self-referral among patients with CKD. eGFR reporting, currently offered by a limited number of laboratories, may facilitate detection of CKD at an earlier, more treatable stage.
    PLoS ONE 11/2014; 9:e112767. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0112767 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine physician perspectives about direct notification of normal and abnormal test results. We conducted a cross-sectional survey at five clinical sites in the US and Australia. The US-based study was conducted via web-based survey of primary care physicians and specialists between July and October 2012. An identical paper-based survey was self-administered between June and September 2012 with specialists in Australia. Of 1417 physicians invited, 315 (22.2%) completed the survey. Two-thirds (65.3%) believed that patients should be directly notified of normal results, but only 21.3% were comfortable with direct notification of clinically significant abnormal results. Physicians were more likely to endorse direct notification of abnormal results if they believed it would reduce the number of patients lost to follow-up (OR=4.98, 95%CI=2.21-1.21) or if they had personally missed an abnormal test result (OR=2.95, 95%CI=1.44-6.02). Conversely, physicians were less likely to endorse if they believed that direct notification interfered with the practice of medicine (OR=0.39, 95%CI=0.20-0.74). Physicians we surveyed generally favor direct notification of normal results but appear to have substantial concerns about direct notification of abnormal results. Widespread use of direct notification should be accompanied by strategies to help patients manage test result abnormalities they receive. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Patient Education and Counseling 02/2015; 167. DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2015.02.011 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a systematic review to determine the effect of providing patients access to their medical records (electronic or paper-based) on healthcare quality, as defined by measures of safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. Articles indexed in PubMed from January 1970 to January 2012 were reviewed. Twenty-seven English-language controlled studies were included. Outcomes were categorized as measures of effectiveness (n=19), patient-centeredness (n=16), and efficiency (n=2); no study addressed safety, timeliness, or equity. Outcomes were equivocal with respect to several aspects of effectiveness and patient-centeredness. Efficiency outcomes in terms of frequency of in-person and telephone encounters were mixed. Access to health records appeared to enhance patients' perceptions of control and reduced or had no effect on patient anxiety. Although few positive findings generally favored patient access, the literature is unclear on whether providing patients access to their medical records improves quality.
    Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 10/2013; 21(4). DOI:10.1136/amiajnl-2013-002239 · 3.93 Impact Factor