Another argument for patient's access to their test results

Amy Reinert amy.reinert at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 21 15:27:45 UTC 2014

Speaking as a patient and a researcher today (rather than just a
researcher), I will say that I have encountered this type of misdiagnosis--
or at least behavior from medical support professionals that is highly
likely to lead to misdiagnosis before. Although I don't have more
information on the specific case referenced by Mark Graber, I posted a few
months ago about some things that I had witnessed as a patient in a large
hospital that got my research/psychologist mind going. One incident was one
in which a nurse told me that all of my tests were normal when I phoned in
for my results. They were not, and although the correct results were noted
in my file, they were not delivered to me. Yes, the delay in starting the
correct medication caused me physical harm. The other is overhearing
multiple, unrelated conversations among differing "tech" staff in the same
hospital system that ran along the lines of "whatever, they don't pay me
enough to enter all this information...." or "If they want it done this
way, they should treat me better" or "I don't see the need for this, so I'm
not doing it that way. They can fire me if they want to." In a different
general hospital, where I was employed as a clinician for a vulnerable
population, a few nurses on my unit routinely did not deliver medication
the doctor ordered because they disagreed with the doctor. Some fabricated
records, others did not. Eventually it was found out and the offenders
removed, but not before harm was done.

When I originally posted about this several weeks or so ago, I was seeking
input from others who might have been exposed to similar situations. My
research in misdiagnosis is qualitative, dealing with the human behavioral
and/or cognitive factors that play a part.
If anyone has anecdotal reports of similar situations, I would appreciate
hearing about them. I'm in the process of designing a study, and it would
be very helpful in helping me narrow some of the questions. If you would
like to contact me directly, you can do it via the email here, or to
adruzickaphd at

My thanks to anyone who cares to share information.

All the best--

On Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 11:02 PM, Graber, Mark <Mark.Graber at> wrote:

> In a very disturbing story this week, a radiology tech was accused of
> notifying 1000+ women that their mammagrams were normal, although she
> didn't know this to be true, and some in fact were not.
> Its my understanding that all women are supposed to receive a copy of
> their test result, and its not exactly clear from this report if the tech
> just gave women a verbal 'ok', or if she actually altered the radiologist's
> report.  This is a class of diagnostic error I've never encountered before,
> but I'm hoping that the directly-mailed results mitigated the tech's false
> assurances.  If anyone has access to more facts on this case, I'd be
> interested to hear them.
> Mark L Graber, MD FACP
> Senior Fellow, RTI International
> Professor Emeritus, SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine
> Founder and President, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine
> Moderator: Lorri Zipperer Lorri at, Communication co-chair, Society
> for Improving Diagnosis in Medicine
> To unsubscribe from the IMPROVEDX list, click the following link:<br>
> <a href="
> target="_blank">
> </a>
> </p>

To unsubscribe from the IMPROVEDX list, click the following link:<br>
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

HTML Version:
URL: <../attachments/20140421/501c29df/attachment.html>

More information about the Test mailing list