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Patient commentary: Direct access would beat receiving test results with the receptionist’s interpretation

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 11 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h797
  1. Rosamund Snow, patient editor, The BMJ
  1. rsnow{at}

The authors on both sides of this debate have made an interesting assumption1: that the opposite of patients’ direct access is a “traditional model,” in which a clinician interprets test results for the patient. To assume that this is the default situation is to miss a vital part of the debate.

In the real world, test results are not just delivered by supportive clinicians, with occasional lapses from that norm; direct access aside, the standard delivery of test results is much more varied than that. I have had results given to me by a general practice receptionist as part …

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