dismiss

Clean Sweep Live Auction on Wed. May 1st. Click to view the full inventory

DOTmed Home MRI Oncology Ultrasound Molecular Imaging X-Ray Cardiology Health IT Business Affairs
News Home Parts & Service Operating Room CT Women's Health Proton Therapy Endoscopy HTMs Pediatrics
SEARCH
Current Location:
>
> This Story


Log in or Register to rate this News Story
Forward Printable StoryPrint Comment
advertisement

 

advertisement

 

X-Ray Homepage

The upper extremity value of mini C-arms in the ER and OR Insights from Dr. Korsh Jafarnia

X-ray sheds new light on ancient mummy The Everhart Museum in PA tapped Geisinger Radiology for help

First ultra high-res CT scan performed on US patient Scanner at UC Davis can image anatomy as small as 150 microns

Joint Commission fluoro mandate may confuse providers, say experts Requires max exposure rates of imaging modes for fluroscopy devices

This UK company is utilizing space technology to develop a portable 3D X-ray system Adaptix has received $1.35 million from space agencies

Trice Imaging connects imaging devices of large chain healthcare provider Aleris Patients and physicians can view images on laptops, cell phones

Industrial hi-res X-ray yields greater insight into child abuse case Identified microscopic injuries that would not have been detected with standard CT

Reducing extravasations in CT contrast-enhanced IV injections Tips and best practices for administering better care

Researchers orchestrate malware attack to expose imaging vulnerabilities Deceived radiologists and AI algorithms into misdiagnoses

House bill would require Medicare to cover CT colonography Supporters say it would improve screening compliance and outcomes

Clarifying unexpected findings can help radiologists avoid lawsuits

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
A longtime expert on imaging malpractice cites a failure to communicate in some cases when patients sue. Dr. Leonard Berlin, a radiologist, and author of an article in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) cited a recent case of a 53-year-old man who died of metastatic colon cancer.

It is, Berlin reminded, the latest reminder that radiologists must take the initiative to verbally report unexpected findings in person to the referring physician.

Story Continues Below Advertisement

RaySafe helps you avoid unnecessary radiation

RaySafe solutions are designed to minimize the need for user interaction, bringing unprecedented simplicity & usability to the X-ray room. We're committed to establishing a radiation safety culture wherever technicians & medical staff encounter radiation.



“If the radiologist sees an abnormality that is suspicious for an early cancer, which was not expected by the ordering physician, he or she should try to contact the referring doctor by phone if possible to alert the doctor that there is a suspicious, unexpected finding that warrants quick follow-up tests,” Berlin, emeritus radiologist at Skokie Hospital and a professor of radiology at Rush University and the University of Illinois, told HCB News.

Some physicians don't read portions of, or sometimes any part of a written report, noted Berlin, who is also the author of the book Malpractice Issues in Radiology. He has been writing about medical issues with a focus on risk management for 45 years.

“Unfortunately, radiologists for various reasons fail to communicate directly with the physician,” he added. “Failure of direct communication is what led to a delay in treating a cancer in this case. More than likely if the cancer was recognized and treated immediately, the patient may well have been cured.”

The patient’s wife sued on behalf of herself and her deceased husband. The radiologists issued a report to the referring urologist that the patient was positive for kidney stones as part of a lithotripsy pre-op work-up. However, the radiologists also noted a suspicious mass in the colon region and recommended a colonoscopy.

The radiologist signed-off on the report on a Friday evening and left a voice message for the urologist to get in contact. The radiologist had included a two-line reference to the mass in the “impressions” section near the end of the report. However, the urologist never returned the call and did not read the imaging report past the point in which the kidney stones were confirmed. Unfortunately, the patient was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer 19 months later and subsequently died. The parties settled out of court for $4.5 million.

“Think of a metaphor: when (a) baseball players get on base by a hit or walk, the team and fans are overjoyed; but if the runners don't score and are left on base, they accomplished nothing,” said Berlin. “Metaphorically, the radiologist is thrilled when his report is sent immediately to the referring doc; but if the doc doesn't read it, nothing has been accomplished.”

Courts have tended to side with patients and their families in recent such cases of failed physician-to-physician communication, according to Berlin. In this case, he wrote, it is not enough for a radiologist to leave a message, but instead must “consummate” verbal communication.

“Win, lose, or agree to a settlement that precludes a jury verdict, a malpractice lawsuit terminates after a finite period and is eventually forgotten,” Berlin concluded in the JACR article. “However, a guilty conscience may linger forever, especially if a serious patient disability or death could have been avoided by a simple telephone call.”

X-Ray Homepage


You Must Be Logged In To Post A Comment

Advertise
Increase Your
Brand Awareness
Auctions + Private Sales
Get The
Best Price
Buy Equipment/Parts
Find The
Lowest Price
Daily News
Read The
Latest News
Directory
Browse All
DOTmed Users
Ethics on DOTmed
View Our
Ethics Program
Gold Parts Vendor Program
Receive PH
Requests
Gold Service Dealer Program
Receive RFP/PS
Requests
Healthcare Providers
See all
HCP Tools
Jobs/Training
Find/Fill
A Job
Parts Hunter +EasyPay
Get Parts
Quotes
Recently Certified
View Recently
Certified Users
Recently Rated
View Recently
Certified Users
Rental Central
Rent Equipment
For Less
Sell Equipment/Parts
Get The
Most Money
Service Technicians Forum
Find Help
And Advice
Simple RFP
Get Equipment
Quotes
Virtual Trade Show
Find Service
For Equipment
Access and use of this site is subject to the terms and conditions of our LEGAL NOTICE & PRIVACY NOTICE
Property of and Proprietary to DOTmed.com, Inc. Copyright ©2001-2019 DOTmed.com, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED