Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Heart tests at hospital went unread (USA)

"Nearly 4,000 tests for heart disease performed over the last three years at Harlem Hospital Center - more than half of all such tests performed - were never read by doctors charged with making a diagnosis, hospital officials acknowledged Tuesday. The echocardiogram tests, a type of ultrasound used to evaluate heart muscle and valve functions, were ordered by doctors at the hospital. The tests were stored on a computer and basically forgotten, officials said. The lapse occurred because the cardiology service at the hospital had developed a system by which technicians were given the responsibility to scan all tests and flag any that looked abnormal, so that they would be given priority when doctors read them. It appears, officials said, that the tests that were not flagged were put aside and forgotten" - New York Times

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