I have several friends who experienced medical problems and went to their doctor who recommended certain specific tests to determine just what was causing their symptoms. The test results were both “positive” and “negative” which meant both good and bad news for my friends. The problem is that neither the doctor nor his/her office promptly communicated the results of these tests to the patients. The result was that one of my friends spent a long time anxiously awaiting word on her test results.
Why does this happen and how frequently do doctors fail to promptly notify their patients of the results of important medical tests? Apparently it happens way too frequently…and a new study reveals that they often fail to notify the patient of the test results at all!
Last night NBC Nightly News ran a story on just this very problem. The report is based upon a recent study conducted at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. The shocking conclusion: 1 out of every 14 doctors failed to report the abnormal results of medical tests. The tests included blood studies, screening tests for colon cancer, pap smears, etc.
Use this little piece of information the next time you hear your colleagues and friends criticizing President Obama’s call for extensive reform of the health care system in America.