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Concern over patient safety issues associated with inadequate tracking of test results has grown over the last decade, as it can lead to delays in the recognition of abnormal test results and the absence of a tracking system to ensure short-term patient follow-up.1,2 Missed abnormal tests and the lack of necessary clinical follow-up can lead to a late diagnosis.
Seeking a sustainable process to enhance their hospitals’ response to sepsis, a multidisciplinary team at WellSpan Health oversaw the development and implementation of a system that uses customized electronic health record (EHR) alert settings and a team of remote nurses to help frontline staff identify and respond to patients showing signs of sepsis. When the remote nurses, or Central Alerts Team (CAT), receive an alert, they assess the patient’s information and collaborate with the clinical care team to recommend a response.
Appropriate follow-up of incidental abnormal radiological findings is an ongoing patient safety challenge. Inadequate follow-up can contribute to missed or delayed diagnosis, potentially resulting in poorer patient outcomes. This study describes implementation of an electronic health record-based referral system for patients with incidental radiologic finding in the emergency room.
The Patient Safe-D(ischarge) program used standardized tools to educate patients about their discharge needs, test understanding of those needs, and improve medication reconciliation at admission and discharge. A quasi-randomized controlled trial of the program found that it significantly increased patients' understanding and knowledge of their diagnoses, treatment, and required follow-up care.