Write an SOP onreporting of results that standardizes the complete process from obtaining the examination result to delivering this result to the requester, including translation of the interim report to the final result report, monitoring of correct transfer of the result reports to the requester and the correct archiving of copies of result reports.
Include a policy on releasing the results directly to patient, to make sure the results are correctly understood.
Special attention should be paid to reporting of results through the telephone. Extra verification should be used to ensure that results transferred via the telephone are received correctly by the requester, and that the person calling is indeed the requester.
Alteration of reports is also a topic that needs extra attention. When alterations to reports are made, the date, time, and name/signature of the person altering the report should be indicated. The release of the report should be authorized again after alteration. In electronic reports the alterations should also be clearly indicated.
Ensure to include specific procedures regarding the following:
Ensuring that results are always clear, in a language understood by the customer of the laboratory
Reporting results according to WHO standards
Who is authorized to release the report and what is the appropriate moment and method of releasing the reports
Turnaround time for reporting the results of different examinations
Immediate reporting in case of examinations with urgency (include alert/critical results intervals, for example of an XDR result).
Transcription of report (including verification) from reports of referral laboratories
Reporting of results from samples that were of inadequate quality but were still analyzed (adding a note that caution is required when interpreting the results).
Procedure for alteration of reports
Storage of (altered) reports, amendments, referral laboratory reports, etc.
Reporting of results via telephone
Make sure that this SOP is read by all relevant personnel members.