Patient Follow-up Is Vital
The research that led to these news storeis was conducted by Dr. Lawrence P. Casalino, an associate professor at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. He reviewed the records of 5,434 patients at 19 primary care centers and 4 academic medical centers.
Dr. Casalino's study has important implications for patients. It demonstrates that patients should not rely upon their doctors or their doctors' staff to relay test results. Patients should not assume that no news from their doctor means good news (that is, no telephone call means that the test results must have been normal). The repeated inability of doctors and/or doctors' offices to communicate test results to patients means that patients should ask for copies of their tests results, and should review those results on their own.
Some of the more common test results that should be sought by patients are blood tests, mammogram reports, x-ray reports, MRI reports, CT scan reports, and pap smear results.