In a recent note (see: Need for Improved Communication Channels between Clinical Labs and Users), I addressed the issue of optimizing lab communications with clinicians and the desirability of formally integrating such activities into the job descriptions of lab personnel. As a comment, Branko Perunovic, submitted the following:
- Curbside consultations by clinicians with colleagues.
- Textbooks and relevant journal articles.
- On-line or hard-copy lab directory/handbook.
- Telephone/cell phone calls to lab personnel requesting information and help.
- Apps such as that described above by Branko Perunovic that reflect communication with the lab personnel but also create a discussion thread that is integrated into the LIS/EHR.
- Formal lab consultations with lab experts culminating in a formal report entered into the electronic medical record.
Readers will recognize this last process as reflecting the goals of Diagnostic Management Teams (DMTs). This was an idea hatched and promoted by Dr. Michael Laposata (see: The what and why of diagnostic management teams; Innovative Pathologists and Clinical Laboratory Scientists Use Diagnostic Management Teams to Support Physicians with More Accurate, Faster Diagnoses; The Importance of Forming a Diagnostic Management Team). Dr. Laposata will be presenting a webinar on DMTs on November 29 as part of the API/Sunquest series on pathology informatics topics.