2.4 Patient test results

2.4 Patient test results notification

The Health and Disability Commissioner recommends clinicians discuss the notification of test results with patients in advance; obtain, where possible, the patient’s consent to the notification of only abnormal results and encourage patients to call if they want confirmation of a normal result or have any questions (NZGP 3 April 2002).

Standard – what we’ll be assessing on Evidence to provide for assessment

2.4 The practice provides patients with information about how the practice will inform them of their test result.

  • Verbally and/or in writing e.g. leaflet, brochure, poster, or by notice on the patient portal or practice website.

The Health and Disability Commissioner states it is acceptable for clinicians to have a clear arrangement that patients will only be notified when test results are of concern. However, unless there is clear evidence that such an arrangement has been made, patients need to be told of all their results. It must be clear to patients they are entitled to notification of all test results, and that even if they agree to be notified only of abnormal results, they are welcome to call the practice and check if their results have been received and what they are.

The practice needs to provide information regarding test results through messages in the waiting and consult room, patient information sheets and practice website.