Alert Overload Causing Docs To Miss Abnormal Test Results

Marla Durben Hirsch | FierceEMR | March 5, 2013

Follow up failures continue to occur in outpatient settings even when physicians receive electronic alerts of abnormal test results, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Failure to tell patients their test results, particularly abnormal test results, is a major safety concern. The researchers, from the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in Houston, conducted a survey of 2,590 primary care practitioners to assess their perceptions of technological factors, such as ease of electronic health record use and the content of alerts, as well as social factors, such as physicians' workflow and organizational policies and procedures related to alert follow up, that might contribute to missing test results.