This week’s “Ftag of the Week” is part of the Laboratory, Radiology and Other Diagnostic Services regulatory group, F777 Radiology/Diagnostic Services Ordered/Notify Results. As the tag name suggests, this regulation outlines a facility’s requirements to provide/obtain radiology and other diagnostic services and promptly notify the practitioner of results, including:
- These services may only be ordered by a physician or other practitioner as allowed by State law.
- Prompt notification to the ordering party of results that fall outside clinical reference ranges that have been set as part of the facility’s P&Ps for notification thresholds. The Interpretive Guidance notes that policies may include reporting of concerns, defining when follow-up is needed, and a process for monitoring the effectiveness of communication to ensure it was received.
While we all knew that a facility has a responsibility to obtain radiology and diagnostic services as directed by a medical order, what used to be in the “probes” is now clearly added to the regulation itself. Physician/medical practitioner notification of test results that are “outside of reference ranges” or as directed by the practitioner is clearly spelled out. Guidance also notes that policies and procedures should be developed in consultation with the Medical Director and follow current standards of practice. Stress is placed on communication with and follow-up by the medical practitioner. Sound new to you? It doesn’t to me and shouldn’t to you. Ensuring ordered x-rays/ diagnostic tests are completed, notification of the medical practitioner of results (especially abnormal results) is done and appropriate medical follow-up conducted is a basic standard of practice that, hopefully, your facility is compliant with.