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Doctors fail to review tests before hospital discharge

Bloomberg Businessweek, August 14, 2012

Doctors who order tests for hospital patients don't always read the results before the patient is discharged, raising the risk of missing potentially dangerous conditions, an Australian study found. About half of the unread tests were ordered on the day the patient left the hospital, according to research today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Many of those results still hadn't been reviewed two months later, the researchers said. Researchers looked at 6,736 inpatient admissions and 662,858 individual medical tests. Of those tests, 3 percent weren't reviewed at discharge and 7 percent were requested on the day the patient was leaving the hospital.