Rivers of Hope

Doctors tend not to read the results of medical tests ordered on a patient’s last day at the hospital, and this could cause doctors to miss worrisome findings, a new study from Australia suggests.

In the study, 21.3 percent of tests ordered on a patient’s last day at the hospital were not reviewed by  health care personnel, whereas just 1.8 percent of tests ordered on other days went unread.

Additionally, the researchers found that of all hospital tests that went checked, close to 50 percent were ordered on a patient’s last day.

Some tests are ordered automatically, because not everyone involved in a patient’s care may be aware that the patient is going home that day, said study researcher Enrico Coiera, director of the Centre for Health Informatics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. “These tests are probably unnecessary, and represent an opportunity for savings,” Coiera…

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