Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Study: Many Malpractice Suits From Failure to Notify Patients of Test Results

The Washington Post reported that a new "study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology found that annual medical malpractice payouts for communication breakdowns, including failing to share test results, more than quadrupled nationally between 1991 and 2010, to $91 million." In order to reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed "medical malpractice claims from 425 hospitals and 52,000 providers." They found that "of the 306 cases in which test results were specifically cited as a factor in a malpractice case, the most common problem -- it occurred almost half the time -- was that the patient didn't receive the test results." Failure to notify clinicians of test results was also another major problem.

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