Failure of Physicians to Inform Patients of Abnormal Test Results Occurrs Frequently
According to an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, new research shows that one out of every fourteen cases of abnormal results, physicians failed to report clinically significant abnormal test results to patients or to document that they had informed them.
The researchers analyzed 5,434 patient records from twenty-three physician practices. They revealed that groups using simple processes to manage test results had lower failures rates. The study also found that having an electronic medical record did not reduce failure-to-inform rates, and even increased them, if the practice did not have good processes in place for managing test results.
Failing to inform a patient of an abnormal outpatient test result can be a serious error. The study suggests five simple, common-sense processes useful for dealing with test results. Only with good processes in place, physicians can ensure that patients with abnormal lab results get proper follow-up.
If you or someone you love suffered injury or death because of failure to report significant abnormal test results, you should contact the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese for a free consultation. The lawyers at Berger & Lagnese specialize in medical malpractice cases such as these.