Responsibility for follow-up during the diagnostic process in primary care

This secondary analysis of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership data explored the extent to which primary care providers (PCPs) retained responsibility for diagnostic follow-up actions, across 11 international jurisdictions. Of the 2879 PCPs included, the proportion who retained responsibility for each area of follow-up (appointments, test reconciliation, non-attenders) was calculated). PCPs varied greatly in their retention of responsibility for follow-up from 19% to 97% across jurisdictions and area of follow-up. Test reconciliation (making sure tests ordered were performed and results reviewed) was inadequate in most jurisdictions. International variation in how PCPs retain responsibility was dependent on the structure of the primary healthcare system and the PCP’s level of concern for their patient. As the workload is increasing in primary care, it is important to understand how health service reorganisation and new models of access (such as automated EHR systems) could affect strategies for patient follow-up.

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