Studies show that physicians may not recognize up to 30 percent of abnormal test results in a timely manner. Missed test results can delay treatment, threaten patient safety, and lead to malpractice lawsuits.
Researchers studied the electronic health records of 91 patients with newly diagnosed abdominal aortic dilation observed on computed tomography (CT).
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) on a CT of the abdomen.
Using a comment on the medical record as evidence, the authors found that the clinical care team had not noticed the dilation in 58 percent of cases within three months of CT. In 18 percent of the cases, the dilations were never documented during an average follow-up of more than three years. Fortunately, these delays and failures did not lead to patient complications or mortalities.
Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet for 7 July 2009 Issue, www.annals.org.
Large AAA and Diverticulosis