Opinion sought on layout of cumulative pathology reports

Clinicians are being asked for their opinions on the design and layout of pathology reports as part of the Pathology Information, Terminology and Units (PITUS) project.

A survey has been designed to gauge clinical opinion on the layout of pathology reports, particularly the question of identifying the most recent result in cumulative reports.

The PITUS project, which is being managed by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) in association with a number of stakeholders including NEHTA, the RACGP, the Medical Software Industry Association (MSIA) and Standards Australia, aims to help assist the implementation of new standards for requesting and reporting.

It is an extension of the Pathology Units and Terminology Standardisation project (PUTS) that developed reference sets of terminology for pathology requesting and reporting and preferred units of measurement for results, which has been gazetted as the Australian Pathology Units and Terminology Standard (APUTS).

PITUS is concentrating on the implementation of the standard in working medical practices and pathology providers in their pathology and desktop systems.

The work is also informing the development of a way to ensure pathology reports are uploaded to the PCEHR in a clinically safe format.

In a circular to clinicians invited to complete the survey, the RCPA says standardised highlighting of the most recent results is being considered to mitigate against the risk of misreading.

“Because there is anecdotal evidence that existing variation in report formats has led to the misreading of results, some elements of the layout of pathology reports are being considered for standardisation,” the college says.

“The survey will be used in developing guidelines for pathology reporting and will be kept confidential. No information will be used for commercial gain.”

The survey is available here and closes on March 30.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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