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Medical Malpractice – Failing To Inform Patient of Test Results

June 25, 2009

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From a just released disturbing report, it turns out that "Failing to inform a patient of an abnormal outpatient test result or to document informing patients of abnormal outpatient test results are common.  And it can be a serious error,” says the report.

Recently the New York Times found "that more than 7 percent of clinically significant findings were never reported to the patient."  From a study led by Dr. Lawrence P. Casalino, it was concluded that following five relatively simple procedures could eliminate most errors: results are routed to the responsible doctor, the doctor signs off on them, the office informs patients of all results, the practice documents that patients have been informed, and finally patients are told to call after a certain time interval if they have not learned the results of their tests.

If you have a test done Dr. Casealino message is simple “Don’t assume that ‘no news is good news’ when you have tests done. That’s a very dangerous assumption. If you’ve had a test done and you don’t hear about it after a week or two goes by, call the doctor’s office.”

Too many times many feel the cure for medical malpractice is to limit the compensation to patients.  Hopefully the information learned from the study will help stop the malpractice, thus protecting patient's rights  when they are a victim of malpractice.

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