Improve Communications Efficiency With Critical Test Results Management
Efficient test results management allows lab staff to focus on their work rather than spend precious minutes trying to locate the right physician. Technology that supports a well-functioning lab allow techs to send critical results quickly, including escalation rules for unacknowledged alerts. If the ordering provider is unavailable, the alert will pass to another clinician after a set amount of time to help ensure the patient can get treated as quickly as possible.
A critical test results management (CTRM) solution fits into your existing workflows and supports stronger staff collaboration and better patient care when it comes to lab results. Secure, traceable results that are delivered to a smartphone or other specified device are much more efficient in a mobile healthcare environment. Escalation rules ensure that messages are received by the appropriate caregiver, and audit functionality provides the hospital with traceability if questions arise. Results also flow into the patient’s electronic health record (EHR).
Spok helps hospitals accomplish these important process steps with robust CTRM functionality. In fact, the Spok® CTRM is cleared as a class II medical device under FDA 510(k), which shows the solution is keeping pace with key industry standards and guidelines.
Here’s how effective test results management can improve lab operations as well as patient care:
Return test results in a timely manner: The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal #2 (NPSG.02.03.01) mandates that hospitals “get important test results to the right staff person on time.” Spok CTRM supports a streamlined workflow that gets test results quickly back to the ordering physician. Encrypted results information goes straight to the physician’s preferred mobile device, with escalation rules if the message isn’t acknowledged within a set period of time. An audit function helps close the communications loop and aids in demonstrating compliance.
Automate manual processes: Many hospitals still report and log critical test results manually, which wastes the valuable time of pathologists and ordering physicians and can delay patient care. The Spok solution can significantly reduce costs and save time while improving patient care and reducing litigation costs. It can send messages from the lab using encrypted smartphone communications, two-way paging, secure email or text, images, annotations, and voice depending on the designated recipient’s device of choice. The system interacts with workstations, laptops, tablets, smartphones, pagers, and other wireless devices.
Close the loop on reporting: In addition to improving communications, Spok CTRM creates an audit trail with all message contents, date/time stamps, delivery confirmations, and acknowledgments, which helps to prevent mistakes and retrace steps if needed. In addition to audit trail functionality, CTRM also updates the hospital’s electronic health record (EHR) system with the results, and whether or not they have been delivered and acknowledged by the physician.
Speed results for faster patient transitions: Spok CTRM can help reduce patient length of stay. The sooner clinicians and patients receive information from the lab, the faster treatment or discharge decisions can be made. That’s a critical consideration as hospitals move to value-based reimbursements. Improving bed turnover rates is an important initiative for many organizations, and faster communications among staff helps meet this goal.
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A CTRM system can help lab staff in a number of ways:
- Improve caregiver, physician, and lab productivity
- Speed treatment plan and discharge for normal and critical test result patients
- Enable incidental findings to be noted and communicated effectively
- Increase patient safety and satisfaction
- Guard against malpractice lawsuits
- Ensure compliance with Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal #2
- Assist with accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP)