J Med Assoc Thai 2008; 91 (7):1146

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High-Risk Laboratory Report: Problem and Prevention
Wiwanitkit V Mail

At present, physicians extensively use laboratory reports as a tool for decision-making in patient
care. There is an important group of reports that can be classified as high-risk laboratory report(1). The highrisk
reports are complex reports that can bring psychological and social impact on the patient. Examples are
reports on oncological disorder, reports on human immunodeficiency virus test and reports on cytogenetic
test(2,3). Often, when there is a problem regarding a high-risk report, it becomes the leading news in the next
days newspaper. In the present article, the author hereby discusses important aspects of high-risk laboratory

1. Problem
Most problems are due to violation of a patient’s rights and improper broadcasting of patient’s
secrets. The violation of a patient’s right usually starts from a request from an outside party for information.
This is then given without asking permission from the patient(4). The problem of exposing the patient’s secret is
usually due to lack of a proper secret keeping system. Sometimes the patient’s secret is exposed to a third party
or broadcast via the hospital internet(5). In addition, there are also other problems due to the error of laboratory

2. Prevention
Informed consent must be strictly followed. The pre- and post-counseling should be set and this
activity can significantly reduce the problem. Setting of good secret keeping system that covers both documents
and online reports is necessary. Total quality management for the whole process is recommended.

Keywords: High-risk, Report, Ethics

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