Author(s): Watson I.
Source: Clinica Chimica Acta; Jun 2019; vol. 493
Publication Date: Jun 2019
Publication Type(s): Conference Abstract
Abstract:The empowered patient is with us and want and expect to participate actively in their care, a significant element for many such patients are the investigations that are used to diagnose, monitor and intervene in their care. Some countries have to a greater or lesser extent enabled patients to directly access their medical records and this is an increasing trend; though this begs the question as to how readily they comprehend the information available to them? There is clear evidence that while patients may feel they understand the disease risks and their results that is often not the case to the detriment of their concordance with the agreed treatment plan. There is also evidence that discussions with a qualified healthcare professional greatly improves matters, however there is a significant time pressure of patient-facing staff. In relation to laboratory medicine the same issues apply and for those who are poorly numerate, and much of laboratory medicine data requires numeracy, then the patient’s ability to understand is further undermined. There is developing interest in specialists in laboratory medicine (SpLM)engaging in this area of knowledge management in a structured approach within the healthcare team. The desirable paradigm is for a tripartite relationship between the patient, their physician and the specialist in laboratory medicine and for the SpLM to add context specific comments to reports for patients, these necessarily must be consistent with the overall care plan and the supervising clinician. This is a developing area in which the method of data presentation has been shown to impact on comprehension and similarly for any added narratives and current ideas will be explored. The opportunity to positively engage in a new facet of delivering a patient-focused laboratory medicine service is clearly there and is neglected at our peril!
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