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New report exposes radiology errors

People in Louisiana who undergo diagnostic medical tests should be able to trust that the results they receive are accurate. This is true whether the tests are performed as part of a routine screening, such as with a mammogram, or in response to concerns that a problem is present. A report released recently suggests that patients should not be too quick to believe that what they are told after receiving results is actually true.

As reported by Radiology Business, an insurance company, Coverys, provided more than 10,000 medical malpractice claim records from a period of five years to be analyzed for a study designed to better understand medical errors and what may be done to improve patient safety. The results may not have been something that anyone expected. Findings showed that of the cases reviewed, the misreading of diagnostic tests was involved in eight out of every 10 claims.

Cancers involving the ovaries, lungs, pancreas and breast were the diseases most often involved in the claims related to the radiological errors. To make matters worse, out of all of the reading errors, eight out of every 10 patients either died or were permanently injured due to the mistakes.

Some recommendations to improve the results accuracy were provided. These include checklists and the use of more clear terminology that may avoid confusion among providers and patients. The report also highlights the importance of proactivity on the part of patients. This proactivity may even involve contacting an attorney when a suspected medical error may have occurred.


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