Media Release - 15/04/10
A new Canterbury District Health Board initiative to make laboratory test results more readily available to doctors and nurses will lead to improved clinical care for patients.
TestSafe South is an initiative to enable health care providers to access laboratory results for their patients using a secure database operated by the CDHB.
Both patients and the people looking after them will benefit from sharing of these results, said Dr Nigel Millar, Chief Medical Officer for the Canterbury District Health Board. “The value of having the full picture of a patient’s blood tests in front of a doctor or nurse at the point of care is huge. It will often lead to more appropriate care and avoidance of harm to patients.”
Other key advantages will be a reduction in the number of blood and other samples taken, reduced waiting times in emergency departments, fewer duplications of tests and less staff time taking tests and following up on results, Dr Millar said. Currently doctors and nurses have only part of the blood results available to them which is very difficult, especially in urgent situations.
“TestSafe South will make results of tests already performed available to the patient's doctor. In many cases this will mean that tests won't have to be repeated and care delivery will be improved because the clinical decision-making process will be more streamlined,” he said.
In the first instance doctors and nurses in the hospital can access TestSafe South results if their patient attends a hospital emergency department, outpatient clinic or if they are admitted as an inpatient. Community-based healthcare providers such as GPs will also be able access to Test Safe South in the future.
The database has strict security controls and information is confidential to those involved in a patient’s care. Appropriate storage and security safeguards have been introduced to prevent both unauthorised access to, and use of, the blood test results.
”We recognise that some people may wish to restrict access to their blood tests to their own GP or a specialist. The system is designed to make this easy, either through telling the doctor or nurse requesting the test on their behalf or calling a freephone number at a later time.”
The goal of this initiative is first to improve safety and quality of care and also to reduce repeat tests for patients.
Patients can restrict result sharing on TestSafe by calling 0508 TESTSAFE (0508 837 872) and providing a date range during which the relevant tests were performed.
For further information about TestSafe South visit www.testsafe.co.nz.