Critical Test Result Reporting
Critical (Panic) Values (Test Results)
In 1972, pathologist G.D. Lundberg was the first author to identify the value of rapid reporting of laboratory test results. He developed a system in which clinical laboratory personnel reported these values immediately to appropriate individuals, so that suitable treatment could occur quickly. As part of his procedure, Lundberg coined the term critical (panic) values for these results, defining them as representing a pathophysiological state at such variance with normal as to be life -threatening unless something is done promptly, and for which some corrective action could be taken.
Notification of Critical (Panic, Alert) Values to a responsible individual occurs in a timely manner; values that meet or exceed the following limits will be called as soon as possible to a nurse or physician caring for the patient.
MDL patients/Clients procedure:
- Testing personnel will verify the result, and immediately hand- deliver a printout that includes the patient’s name and medical record number, physician, patient location and verified result to:
- Customer Service Representative, if between the
hours of 6 am and 9:30 pm, or
- Tech-in-Charge (TIC), if between the hours of 9:30 pm and 6 am.
- Testing personnel will attach an order level comment,
documenting to whom they gave the result to call.
- The Customer Service Representative or TIC will call
- The Customer Service Representative or TIC will report
the critical value and ask for verbal verification, “read back” of the test
- The Customer Service Representative or TIC will electronically document the call with the test result as a chartable comment, using the “CRIT” comment code in the CERNER LIS.