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Report highlights serious radiology errors

When people in New York think about the various types of medical errors that may occur, a delayed or wrong diagnosis may often be one of the first examples that come to mind. Indeed these are notable problems that may leave patients lacking the necessary care they need for too long or possibly even ever. When the correct diagnosis is a form of cancer or other serious condition, the results may even include death. 

A new report issued by the insurance company Coverys indicates that these types of errors are among the most prevalent ones facing patients today. As reported by Business Insurance, between 2013 and 2017, 595 medical malpractice claims were filed involving significant harm to patients and involving radiological errors. Inaccurate or delayed diagnosis were the most common problems cited.

In addition to highlight the severity of the problem, the report provided recommendations to reduce the number of future errors. These recommendations included the use of checklists to increase accountability and accuracy, reducing or eliminating the use of ambiguous terminology in test result reports and the establishment of guidelines surrounding the need for a second review of diagnostic tests.

Misreading of tests was identified as a problem in 80 percent of the claims filed and reviewed in the findings. Ovarian, breast, pancreatic and lung cancers were the conditions most involved. More than 80 percent of the errors led to either the death of a patient or a permanent injury to the patient. Radiologists were found to be involved in 15 percent of medical error claims during the study period, second only to general practitioners.



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