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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 20, 2015 02:04 PM
From: Representative Marguerite Quinn
To: All House members
Subject: Patient Test Results
I will be introducing legislation to require that the summary or impression which is provided to a health care practitioner after certain diagnostic imaging services are performed on a patient be sent directly to the patient or designee within 20 days of the results being sent to the patient’s ordering physician if the results include a significant abnormality. A significant abnormality has been defined in the legislation as a finding which requires follow-up medical care within 3 months. The test results may be sent electronically by email or fax or added to the patient’s electronic medical record.

Health care providers face an increasing caseload and a greater volume of paperwork / documentation. These factors increase the chance for test results to be read incorrectly or even inadvertently overlooked. I know of two situations in which abnormal test results were not communicated to the patient, resulting in the unnecessary death of both people.

Test results belong to the patient, and by law are provided upon request. However, the attitude of “no news is good news” is still often the standard in medical care, and most people are pleased not to be called back in for more tests! Providing patients with the summary of test results when an abnormality presents will enable patients to be proactive in their health care, and provide a safety net in the event of communication breakdown.

This was House Bill 1642 last session, and it passed the House unanimously on March 19, 2014.

Introduced as HB1233