The doctor I usually see does not keep track of labs. He is very bad about filling out forms, like for FMLA, too. One has to get with his assistant, without whom he would be completely lost, I think. She really covers for him, I think, and pulls his butt from many a fire - fires of being too lax and seemingly disorganized.
Who follows lab results? Radiology results? Consult reports? Shouldn't the doctor who orders all of these things keep a little list in the front of the chart or a log book of some sort or something on the the computer of
Pt's Name, tests ordered and the date ordered, and the results and date received.
And each patient's chart should contain a problem list in the front, which gets updated q visit or q call.
And/or a care plan of sorts should be in the front of the chart.
Without one or all of these things, I think many patients and their labs and problems fall through the crack.
As a patient, this scares me. What if I were not a nurse? What if I were just a layperson, trusting that my doctor has everything under control but he really doesn't know what labs he ordered, has no method established to make sure he checks results, in a timely manner, of labs he's ordered?
Don't medical schools and training residencies teach them how to do this?
Jan 29, '10
worked in MD offices < 20 years and found few who did not depend on ancillary staff to keep them organized. Evidently this MD has not yet been sued for negligence. Yes, they SHOULD do those things.
Jan 29, '10
Are you referring to the med schools who teach 'Advanced Bedside Manner' and 'The business of Medicine'? Or the ones that teach 'Maintaining a Poker Face at all times' and 'How to Smile and Annoy the Nurse at the same time'?
Jan 29, '10
OOOHHHH I needed Friday night chuckle. I worked with Docs and Residents in Family Practice and Peds environments...We, the nurses are the ones who do all of the above. I will admit some docs are a bit more organized but, it is part of our job to make sure labs and procedures are in the charts and if there are issues to put it in front of their faces.
Go read the ambulatory care forum...Our "cushy" day job is not sooo cushy
Jan 30, '10
Most of the docs I have worked with understand the importance of keeping track of these things and their method of insuring that this is accomplished is to have either an office manager or other staff member who flags charts, keeps track of labs/tests/reports, and puts them under the MD nose. An organized doc can probably do this with the help of nonprofessional staff, a disorganized doc is more likely to need the help of another professional (someone who can make professional judgements about what is important).
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