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Table 2 Practice-level organisation of the distribution of test results

From: The role of informal dimensions of safety in high-volume organisational routines: an ethnographic study of test results handling in UK general practice

  Practice 1 Practice 2 Practice 3 Practice 4 Practice 5 Practice 6 Practice 7 Practice 8
Protocol No No No Yes No Yes No Yes
Stage 1: How was the initial management of results organised? Single receptionist Different person each day Single receptionist Same person for a week at a time Different person each day Different person each day Same person for a week at a time Single receptionist
Stage 2: How were the results distributed across the clinicians? Practice nurse who filed all ‘normal’ results and then to the GP who ordered the test if the result was abnormal Any GP on duty that day via a daily rota prepared by Office Manager. Nurses also receive results with their name on it ‘Normal’ results filtered to the senior practice nurse by receptionist. ‘Abnormal’ results sent to the GP who had ordered the test The GP who had ordered the test or their ‘buddy’ The GPs at break time, who then distributed the results themselves according to who ‘knew’ the patient best The GP who had ordered the test The GP who had ordered the test and the rest were divided randomly across the GPs The GP or nurse who had ordered the test via specific chronic disease management clinics (e.g. diabetes, asthma)
Stage 3: How were the results reviewed? Abnormal results reviewed by GPs in their consulting rooms and normal results reviewed by practice nurses in their consulting rooms All results reviewed by GPs in their consulting rooms Results reviewed individually by nurses in their consulting rooms and communally by GPs in a shared computer room during morning coffee break All results reviewed by GPs in their consulting rooms All results reviewed by GPs in their consulting rooms All results reviewed by GPs in their consulting rooms All results reviewed by GPs in their consulting rooms All results reviewed by GPs and nurses in their consulting rooms
Stage 4: How did receptionists contact the patients to complete the action? Patient telephoned by computer operator if a prescription was required and by main reception if an appointment was required Patient telephoned by member of reception team Patient telephoned by member of reception team and then send letter if no response Patient sent letter by member of reception team Patient telephoned by reception team member and message left if no answer Patient telephoned by reception team member Patient telephoned by reception team member Patients telephoned by a reception team member