Failing to follow up on the abnormal test results can cause serious health problems to patients. We conducted a retrospective medical record review of 3200 randomly selected patients aged 18 to 76 in 14 state clinics and two private laboratory services querying the common regional patient registry. One patient could be included (1 clinical case) in the study only once. We invited patients to take part in the interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the motives to follow up or not after receiving a recommendation and explanation of the role of the automatically generated interpretation in this decision. A qualitative study of the patients’ motivation was performed with a group of 689 patients. All the patients who received their interpretations showed a much higher follow-up rate (68% average) than the patients who did not receive interpretations (49 % average). The results of our research demonstrated that there is a significant impact on the patients’ decision to follow up on the tests. Patients consider time factor as an important advantage of the computer interpretations and are willing to get automatic interpretations if they can receive it faster than the ones from their doctor (question 4: median =3 out of 7). Discussing the reasons behind the decision to follow up, the patients do trust the computerized clinical decision support systems (question 5: median = 5 out of 7), however, they prefer to receive interpretations and recommendations from doctors (question 3: median = 7).
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