Medical Tests: Are You Getting All Your Results?

A new study finds if you have an abnormal test result after visiting the doctor, there's a one in fourteen chance you won't find out.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical Center analyzed nearly 55 hundred patient records, and found 135 instances in which a patient wasn't informed of a failed test, or there was no documentation indicating the patient was told.

The failure rate ranged from zero to 25 percent, meaning some patients had a one in four chance of being kept in the dark.

Experts say the doctor's offices that followed five rules for processing test results had the lowest failure rate. Those rules include having all test results routed to the responsible doctor, the physician signs off on the results, the practice informs the patient and documents their conversation, and patients are told to call after a certain point if they have not been contacted.

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