Pathology is the study of disease, its causes and progression. Nearly every patient has had contact with pathology services at some point. Every time a blood, stool, urine or tissue sample is collected it is then analysed.
Pathology testing is vital to most areas of healthcare, providing insights into how to manage a patient’s condition, either by confirming a diagnosis, managing medication or monitoring the progression of a condition. Tens of thousands of pathology tests are performed in Wandsworth every month, providing GPs with a vital source of information to improve patient care.
The Wandsworth Pathology Improvement Programme has been developed with local GPs and supports them to improve efficiency and patient care by ensuring that:
• Requested tests are clinically appropriate to the patient’s complaint
• Tests are not duplicated unnecessarily
• Tests are carried out in line with the recommended frequency
The programme provides support to achieve these aims by:
• Written guidance to GPs, providing easily accessible information on appropriate testing intervals and pathways.
• A series of GP led audits to review practice testing activity against some of the most frequently requested tests in Wandsworth.
• Access to data on monthly practice testing activity, to allow for comparison and benchmarking with other Wandsworth practices.
• A range of education sessions for GPs, improving communication with secondary care Consultants and promoting best practice in Pathology testing practices.
• Software to support electronic ordering of Pathology tests, reducing the need for paper forms, improving efficiency, and reducing inadvertent duplication of testing.