Test results to be shared among 122 hospitals
HCMC – Up to 122 hospitals under the administration of the Ministry of Health as well as first-grade hospitals have been requested to make plans for sharing medical test results among them, said Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Healthcare Department under the Ministry of Health.
Currently, many hospitals do not accept each other’s test results, forcing patients to take repeated tests to be eligible for transfer from one hospital to another, making it costly and inconvenient.
Medical tests are indispensable for doctors to diagnose diseases accurately. However, there are still cases where medical tests of the same patient at different hospitals yield different results, or the disparity among hospitals in recognizing the importance of such tests.
Therefore, the Ministry of Health is developing criteria for assessing the quality of medical test laboratories in hospitals at five levels to step by step improve the quality of tests so as to ensure accurate and timely test results. This will set up the norms for the recognition of test results among medical establishments, helping reduce cost and save time for patients.
According Khue, healthcare facilities nationwide made more than 516 million tests of all kinds in 2016 and the number of tests at hospitals increases by more than 10% per year on average. “Test results of hospitals belonging to the Ministry of Health will be linked from July 1, 2017 while the linkage of test results among first-grade hospitals and equivalents will be completed before January 1, 2018,” Khue said.
Despite this roadmap, there are still concerns among certain hospitals.
In fact, most hospitals are not ready to accept each other’s test results. The head of the testing department of a central hospital in HCMC said that there are many types of tests whose results can change hourly or daily, making it necessary to do retests. On the other hand, most laboratories are not on the same par, so their test results can be different.
“Currently, there are very few laboratories that meet ISO 15189 standards, not to mention the difference in equipment, testing chemicals and staff skills among different hospitals. If the patient is seriously ill, it is risky for the doctor not to retest but rely on the results of previous tests. Who will take responsibility when problems occur?” said the department head, who asked not to be named.