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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 323-326

Relevance of a laboratory physician's report to patient care in a tertiary health center

1 Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. E O Onovughakpo-Sakpa
Department of Chemical Pathology, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.179282

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Introduction: Investigation results traditionally are given in two parts: Investigation results and report. When both are provided for a test done, reports offer in depth information, explanation and clarification of results. This trend has been lost over time as results are the only documentation routinely given currently in conventional hospital practice except reports are specially requested for although the service is obtainable at no extra cost to the patient or attending physician. Aim: To access the necessity of laboratory report as part of investigation results and reasons for non utilization of laboratory report services by physicians. Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted amongst doctors of varying cadres in 3 specialties (Physician, Surgeon, Gender practitioners) at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Data was collected from 121 participating doctors using a structured 19 item self administered questionnaire. The data was analyzed using IBM-SPSS Version 20.0. Results: Most respondents agreed that the investigation results currently obtained from the laboratory were useful but would be better if laboratory reports accompanied them. Over 70% of the doctors noted that the above sometimes held true only sometimes and not always as stated by 28.1% of doctors. More than 90% of the doctors have knowledge of the difference between laboratory results and report; the necessity of a lab physician's report for every investigation requested for and its potential benefits such an investigation reporting system will have on patient management. Although most doctors (81.8%) discuss laboratory results with lab physicians, they do not routinely consult them to achieve the improved value of investigation results until a critical period of necessity arises. Conclusion: Laboratory investigations would offer doctors more information, which translates to enhanced patient care if investigation results are mandatorily accompanied by a laboratory report.

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