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Commentary |

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

Traber Davis Giardina, MA, MSW; Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2011;306(22):2502-2503. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1797.
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In the outpatient setting, between 8% and 26% of abnormal test results, including those suspicious for malignancy, are not followed up in a timely manner.1,2 Despite the use of electronic health records (EHRs) to facilitate communication of test results, follow-up remains a significant safety challenge. In an effort to mitigate delays, some systems have adopted a time-delayed direct notification of test results to patients (ie, releasing them after 3 to 7 days to allow physicians to review them).3,4

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