Study: Patients often not informed about abnormal test findings

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has drawn a disturbing conclusion--that physicians frequently don't tell patients when they have an abnormal test result.

The researchers, who reviewed more than 5,400 patient records from 23  physician groups, found that one in 14 physicians didn't take this step. Their study, which was funded by the California HealthCare Foundation, looked at 11 blood tests and screenings given to patients ages 50 to 69.

While electronic medical records have been touted as a solution to such problems, such technology can actually make the rate of non-communication higher, they concluded. Practices using a combination of EMRs and paper records had the worst performance for letting patients know about abnormal test results.

To learn more about this study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

Related Article:
Digital records are good, but what about all that paper?