Positive tests

Phillip Benton pgbentonmd at AOL.COM
Mon Mar 9 16:26:01 UTC 2015


Failure to communicate (or to apprecciate and then act upon) test results is a common issue in adverse medical events with significant patient injury. Medical malpractice actions often result and the providers are most often held liable. Taking the time to (1) be certain that test results are received and acknowleged (or repeated if they significantly do not fit the clinical picture), and (2) that the information is timely transmitted to other caregivers who need to know, and (3) anxious patients also receive notice of the results and have the opportunity to ask "what now?", will avoid litigation and enhance your practice's reputation.  


Well worth the time and effort, especially since electronic communication today is so easy and is virtually free. Any competent practice consultant can show you how.


P.G. Benton, MD, JD
Adjunct Professor, Emory Law School
Atlanta, GA



-----Original Message-----
From: Hoffer, Edward P.,M.D.,M.D. <EHOFFER at MGH.HARVARD.EDU>
To: IMPROVEDX <IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG>
Sent: Mon, Mar 9, 2015 11:41 am
Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Positive tests


  
   
I would respectfully disagree. I tell my patients that while MOST of the time, no news = good news, in a small percentage of situations, no news = the test got lost, the report was misfiled, the specimen was never received, etc. I doubt many doctors intentionally do not tell patients about abnormal findings, I do believe that a test that never gets reported is easy to lose sight of.  So, closed loop = better. It is not much effort to write “good news” on a report and mail a copy to the patient if you do not have a portal.
   
Ed
   
Edward P Hoffer MD
   
 
   
    
     
From: Mark H Ebell [mailto:ebell at UGA.EDU] 
 Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2015 10:53 PM
 To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
 Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Positive tests
    
   
   
 
   
    
     
      
While in an ideal world, that makes sense, in a busy primary care practice in the non-academic setting, communicating every negative result would impose a large cost on the practice. Someone has to call or mail or email every patient for every test ever ordered. I don’t think that’s realistic. Not that it wouldn’t be valuable, but in the real world it probably makes more sense to be selective in communicating negative findings, focusing on critical results (you don’t have cancer, your cath was normal, etc).
     
     
      
 
     
     
      
Best,
     
     
      
 
     
     
      
Mark
     
     
      
 
     
     
      
       
        
         
          
— 
         
         
          
           
Mark H. Ebell MD, MS
          
          
           
Professor of Epidemiology
           
University of Georgia
          
          
           
Editor, Essential Evidence
           
Deputy Editor, American Family Physician
          
          
           
ebell at uga.edu
          
         
        
        
         
 
        
       
      
     
    
   
   
    
 
   
   
    
From: <Pauker>, Stephen
 Reply-To: Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, "Pauker, Stephen"
 Date: Sunday, March 8, 2015 at 8:10 PM
 To: "IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG"
 Subject: Re: [IMPROVEDX] Positive tests
   
   
    
 
   
   
    
     
In my experience and writings , negative or normal test results can be quite important in making a diagnosis, so not communicating them to the patient can be withholding key information. All results positive or negative should be communicated. Further withholding them can sometimes lead to repeating the test
 
 Steve
 
 
 
 Sent with Good (www.good.com)
 
 
 -----Original Message-----
 From: Robert Bell [rmsbell at ESEDONA.NET]
 Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2015 01:33 PM Eastern Standard Time
 To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
 Subject: [IMPROVEDX] Positive tests
 
 
 
     
Many doctor's offices only call or mention to patients positive test results that have been undertaken (particularly lab tests). Is that a good thing and does it in any way impact diagnosis?
 
 Also, what are the effects of the new electronic portals on diagnosis. It is a big change in medicine.
 
 Rob Bell
 
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Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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