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Introduction

Diagnostic services that nurse practitioners order include:

  • laboratory,
  • miscellaneous services (such as cardiac stress tests, echocardiograms, Holter monitoring, amniocentesis, etc.), and
  • imaging (including x-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, computerized tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging)

Standards

1.

Nurse practitioners order diagnostic services, provide appropriate follow-up, diagnose and manage diseases, disorders and conditions within the scope of practice for nurse practitioners and their individual competence.

2.

Nurse practitioners engage in evidence informed diagnosing and management considering best practice guidelines and other relevant guidelines and resources.

3.

Nurse practitioners:

 

a.

provide the appropriate clinical information when ordering diagnostic tests

 

b.

establish mechanisms within their practice setting(s) to track and follow-up on diagnostic test results

 

c.

ensure clients are informed, in a timely manner, of diagnostic test results, implications and needed follow-up

 

d.

communicate, as needed, diagnostic test results with key providers involved in the client’s care

4.

Nurse practitioners document follow-up (and follow-up attempts) with the client and key providers on significant diagnostic test results, next steps and the care and treatment needed.

Limits and Conditions

1.

Nurse practitioners do not take responsibility for final interpretation of medical imaging studies. Appropriate treatment may be initiated while awaiting final interpretation by the diagnostic radiologist.

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 Resources

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