Better links to labs can improve care

Practice visits by pathology lab staff can boost communication with GPs, a leading pathologist argues in this week's GP.

Dr Ceridwen Coulson, consultant chemical pathologist and head of North Bristol Clinical Biochemistry, says that effective information exchange between GPs and lab staff is key to providing excellent clinical care.

'Decide with your lab the optimum approach in relevant areas,' she says. She suggests asking the lab's clinical staff to visit you to discuss areas of concern.

GPs can also pick up the telephone if they have queries about tests or complex cases, Dr Coulson recommends.

'If you have a complex situation, telephone your local laboratory for advice,' she says.

'If results are wanted urgently or there is a high chance of abnormality, add a contact telephone number.'

Adding clinical data and deciding procedures for additional testing in advance can also save time and money, she says.

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