As many as 75% of hospital tests are not followed up on according to a recent study.

According to Health Day News, a recent study in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety found as many as 75% of hospital tests were not followed up on.  This included critical test results after patients were discharged from the hospital or transferred from inpatient to outpatient care.

One of the researchers indicated "there is substantial evidence to suggest that the proportion of missed test results is a substantial problem, which impacts on patients' safety."  No kidding.

Tests are ordered for a reason and following up on test results is critical for patient safety. 

A real life tragic consequence of this attitude:  a woman was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in her leg) but the primary care doctor who ordered the test didn't follow up on it and said he never saw it (even though it was in her medical chart).  And the specialist who diagnosed the life threatening condition called the primary care doctor but got put on hold so he hung up.  No one ever told the patient she had a life threatening condition. 

She died of a pulmonary embolism a few days later, when the blood clot in her leg travelled to the lung.
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