For people in Pennsylvania with serious medical conditions like cancer, the ability to have access to good diagnostic testing is critical. These tests can not only be used to make an initial diagnosis but to monitor one’s progress throughout the treatment period and beyond. Certainly, early diagnosis of any cancer is important as this gives patients an improved chance of survival and may even reduce the nature of any long-term impact they experience.
These realities make the recently released results of a study particularly concerning. Radiology Business has released findings from the insurer, Coverys, that shows eight out of every 10 medical malpractice claims over a period of five years involved a radiology error. These errors most commonly involved test data being read inaccurately leading to inaccurate results being given to patients.
An estimated 10,000 claims filed between 2013 and 2017 were reviewed in the study. Of all of the claims involving errors with radiology results, patients experienced permanent injuries or death in eight out of 10 cases. Conditions most commonly identified in the claims included ovarian cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.
Recommendations were provided as well and included adjustments to the language used by radiologists to hopefully prevent confusion by the recipients. Another suggestion made was the use of checklists. Patients may also want to be aware of their right to talk with an attorney and learn how they might seek compensation if they have been impacted by a medical error like an incorrect or delayed diagnosis due to a test being read incorrectly.