Psychiatrists' access to electronic laboratory results
Aims and method A completed audit cycle, consisting of email surveys of all psychiatrists and a review of acute trust information technology registers was undertaken in Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, to assess whether psychiatrists could access electronic laboratory results from the neighbouring acute trust laboratory. This was replicated in Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, with an initial audit; plans were then implemented to increase access. Results In Derbyshire, 14% of psychiatrists could access electronic results initially, with limited ward access. By re-audit, all wards had access, and 28% used those systems. The later initial audit in Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust revealed 6% access. Clinical implications Benefits of electronic results include clinical (faster decisions, safer monitoring, prompt detection of acute problems); efficiency savings (less wasted time telephoning); and other (improved relationships with general practitioners and laboratories, reduced marginalisation of patients with mental illness and professionals). There may be considerable clinical and efficiency savings for trusts.