When you suffer from an injury or illness, you rely on the medical personnel attending to your care to determine what is wrong and how to treat it. Doctors and surgeons often rely on radiological tests to provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
This probably makes a radiologist part of your care team. Accurately reading the results of imaging tests may prove a crucial part of your care. When a radiologist makes a mistake, you are the one who bears the consequences of that error.
The role of human error
Correctly diagnosing your condition through imaging tests requires the following from the radiologist:
- Education and training
- Ability to interpret
Should any of these (or other relevant) skills not be present, you may not receive the right diagnosis. The following issues could inhibit a radiologist from properly reviewing test results:
- Poor-quality studies
- Jumping to quick conclusions
- Not using optimized tools
- Not keeping up with current literature
These and other factors could cause an erroneous and incorrect diagnosis.
The role of external factors
As listed above, the role of concentration plays a part in mistakes. Numerous external factors could impede concentration or otherwise compromise the ability of a radiologist to come to the correct diagnosis. Some of those external factors include the following:
- Interruptions from people or electronic devices
- Ignoring voice dictation
- Heavy workload
- Lack of communication with your doctor
- Uncomfortable work environment
- Time pressure
Every patient deserves the best medical care possible. When a radiologist allows either human or external issues to create a situation in which you fail to receive a timely and accurate diagnosis, you could suffer harm. Your condition could worsen, you could require surgery, or additional surgery, to correct the mistake, or you could find yourself permanently injured.
The role of legal action
If you can trace the source of your current health issues to a mistake made by your radiologist, you may be able to pursue compensation for the medical expenses, lost income and other damages allowed under Texas law through the filing of a medical malpractice claim.
To determine whether the evidence substantiates such a claim, you may start by conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances. This often requires the assistance of qualified medical personnel who can provide you with an opinion regarding whether the radiologist breached the standard of care owed to you. However, this is only one step in a process that can quickly become complex. Fortunately, you don't have to face this daunting task alone.