Communication of laboratory data and diagnostic test results to hospitalized patients: A study of preferences and recall

Muhammad W. Athar, Christine Mativo, Regina Landis, Scott M. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess patients’ preferences with respect to different methods of receiving test results while they were hospitalized and to determine whether the different modes of communication of the test results were associated with better recall. Methods: Five discrete test results were shared with adult inpatients on general medicine service (blood pressure, white blood cell count, hematocrit, creatinine, and chest X-ray). The information was delivered by a physician in one of three ways: 1) verbally, 2) explained with a print out of the results, or 3) described while showing results on a computer monitor (electronic). The same physician returned within 3 hours to assess recall and satisfaction with the way patients received their results. Results: All the patients (100%) receiving their results in written format were satisfied with the mode of communication as compared to electronic format (86%) or verbally (79%) (P=0.02). Fifty percent of patients in the computer format group could recall four or more test results at the follow-up, as compared to 43% in printed group and 24% who were informed of their results verbally (P=0.35). Conclusion: Patients most appreciated receiving test results in written form while in the hospital, and this delivery method was as good as any other method with respect to recall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1413
Number of pages5
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
StatePublished - Jul 28 2016


  • Patient preference
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Patient-centered care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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