You’ve just had a diagnostic medical test performed at a reputable facility. “The test will be read in a few days,” the staff tells you. A week goes by and you haven’t heard from anyone about your test results. You say to yourself, “No news is good news.”
Or, is it? Unfortunately, sometimes not. The Washington Post reported on the case of Peggy Kidwell. Her screening mammogram report clearly stated that the exam was abnormal and needed follow up. The findings demonstrated early cancer, but the abnormal report was sent to the wrong physician (where it sat on his desk for a year). Subsequent testing indicated that the cancer had grown to a later stage and had spread, worsening Peggy’s prognosis. Something could have been done sooner.
Cases like Peggy’s occur more often than you think. For any number of reasons, diagnostic test results do sometimes “fall through the cracks.” Whether diagnostic test result notifications are misdirected or simply delayed, patients face potential harm.
SaferMD aims to eliminate missed test results. We monitor health care providers’ test result notification activity to help insurance companies offer risk reduction discounts, enabling health care facilities to optimize test result communications. Our system uses financial incentives to make sure that important results reach the right healthcare provider promptly, speeding up communications so that patients get the right care as soon as possible.