The one question we often get from labs is- How can I make my client’s life easier? Giving them a readable, informational and straightforward laboratory results report will definitely help achieve this goal.
Laboratory results reports are a visible, tangible representation of your laboratory to your clients (similar to your customized requisition form). Your client will see your report multiple times each day. They will interact with the report more than with any other employee working for your laboratory. Your laboratory results report is unique to your laboratory and that uniqueness sets you apart from your competition.
How to Prioritize Your Report Layout
Some information will be more important on your report. It is valuable to consider how your clients will use the information, and then approach your report layout with a sectional perspective, allowing the data to be positioned in the priority that makes the most sense to your clients.
It is also important to consider how all of the informational elements being presented relate to one another. For example, on a toxicology results report do you want to separate POCT, EIA, and LCMS sections or combine all three methods into a single section subdivided by drug classifications? Do you want to have separate Detail and History sections, or do you want to include historical information with the details for certain results (e.g., positive toxicology tests)? Does including historical information even make sense for the type of testing your clients will request? Do you want multiple summary sections, one summary section, or no summary section at all? The answers to these questions is the same as the answer to, which approach will make your client’s work easiest and consequently be of the most value to your client? The number and type of sections should be determined by the need of your clients.
Cut Through the Noise
Also, remember that more is not always better. More is sometimes less effective. If the information will not be helpful to the client, then it will merely be clutter and noise that the client must weed through to get to the useful information they desire. We recommend that you include only the information which is valuable to your clients, in turn highlighting the quality of your laboratory’s testing service.
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