UNREAD MEDICAL TEST RESULTS CAUSE SERIOUS PATIENT SAFETY CONCERNS

An Australian study reveals that almost half of the medical tests administered on the day before a patient is discharged from the hospital are not being reviewed by the doctors who ordered them.

According to the study, tests administered on the day a patient was discharged represent only seven percent of the tests ordered during an average patient’s hospital stay. That seven percent, however, represents almost half of all tests that are not reviewed in a timely fashion. 

An expert warns that American hospitals are just as guilty as the Australian ones studied.

Patient safety concerns

Failure to review medical tests and a subsequent failure to diagnose potential conditions poses alarming health risks to patients. A significant number of these tests indicate serious health problems that are going untreated. This means that important information that should and could have been addressed is not. The result is often hospital readmission and potentially serious complications for the untreated patient.

Another recent study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reveals that many hospitals are also failing to follow through with discharge recommendations. This study found that 35.8 percent of hospitals failed to follow up with a patient on their test results after the patient was discharged from the hospital.

Additionally, doctors are also failing to review tests that were unnecessary in the first place and could have been avoided. Having a patient succumb to unnecessary testing opens them up to additional risks, including infection and medical mistakes.

If your doctor failed to diagnose a serious medical condition because he or she failed to review medical tests, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options.

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