Doctors who fail to order necessary medical tests can have severe, potentially fatal consequences for patients. When doctors fail to order the appropriate tests, the patient’s health can worsen and treatment of the underlying condition can become increasingly complicated. This can result in unnecessary suffering, financial expenses, and increase the risk of a fatal complication.
Early Diagnosis Results in Better Outcomes
The earlier a disease is properly diagnosed, the more likely it is the patient will recover. Physicians have a duty of care to their patients that includes thoroughly examining them to correctly determine the appropriate testing regimen. This should guide the physician’s testing decisions whether cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or other serious condition is suspected.
Physicians have a wide range of testing options available. These include MRI and CT scans, X-rays, blood tests, urine tests, PSA tests, and many others. Physicians have the ability to order the appropriate combination of tests to either confirm or rule out the presence of disease or injury.
Cost-Cutting Costs Lives
Many times it is not the physician who delays or denies testing, it’s the healthcare facility they work for, or a denial from an insurance company that won’t pay for legitimate testing and screening services. These entities often deny testing in order to protect profits. This is a decision that comes at the expense of patient safety and well-being.
Healthcare facilities that pressure physicians to delay testing or ignore guidelines designed to thoroughly assess a patient’s medical condition are negligent in their responsibilities to the public. These entities deliberately put profit over patient safety, and the price is higher than anything counted on the bottom line.
Patient Pressure is Crucial
Patients have a responsibility to fully educate themselves regarding their testing options. The more a patient knows, the more pressure they can exert on the physician and their insurance provider to order and cover the appropriate tests. It is a patient’s right to confirm that every test possible is performed to confirm or deny the existence of a health condition. This is known as defensive medicine and it is every patient’s right to verify that their physician is doing everything possible to protect their health. Further, documenting patient requests for proper testing creates a paper trail. This can be entered into evidence by medical malpractice lawyers seeking compensation for damages down the road. Many times, the evidence shows that the only thing that was protected was the financial health of the healthcare provider.