sorry to post so late.
I am replying to John's post, as it is my favorite response (through 1-9-08)
It seems that your Q has been well addressed... just to add my 2c - in my
scenario, which is, in one of my Call jobs, a small hospital. When I am
told/asked to do a Stat exam, I have the scheduler/admissions obtain the
CELL PHONE NUMBER FOR THE ORDERING MD. Then, I do not release the pt until
the MD is contacted and gives instructions. John gives plan B of bringing
pt to ER, etc. Luckily for me, this has not ever been needed, but it gives
me confidence to do it if referring MD or Med Dir is unresponsive to calls.
Everyone else also mentions documentation is key. Absolutely.
Nice to hear others' scenarios, reminders of importance of having policies
in place, etc. Flownet yay.
Oh! to answer your original Q of how long... well, we do the best we can,
and document times and actions. (This can easily tangent to a discussion of
abuse/definition of "STAT")
As we all are aware, finding a physician to notify can be daunting
(especially late in the afternoon on Friday).
We have a set protocol that guides the techs through notification. If the
referring physician cannot be reached (or does not respond to a page within
twenty minutes) then the lab's medical director is called. If he or she is
not available then the patient is escorted to the emergency room and a copy
of the preliminary report is provided to the ER doc. All of these steps are
documented in the study findings and appear on the final report.
Unless the patient absolutely refuses to be seen in the ER, at that point
you have done everything that is reasonable to expect to insure the
patient's safety. If they refuse ER follow-up a notation is made in the
study results to that effect also.
Hope this helps.
John Logan, RVT
UCSF Medical Center
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