Importance of Radiology reports in a Medical Malpractice case

medical summary

Handling any legal case with a lot of science and technical details is hard irrespective of the field. This becomes even harder in case of medical malpractice cases, as we tend to shy away from dwelling in the belly of the medical field. Many of us have aversions, and these blockages can hinder the progress of the medical case. When it comes to medical malpractice, the devil lies in the details, and it becomes the onus of the legal team to bring these details to the forefront.

That is why most legal firms that handle medical malpractice cases choose to have a medical summary firm like The Medsum on a retainer for quick assistance and continuous support during challenging medical cases.

Medical summary companies help you wade through important medical records such as EMR reports, medical charts, diagnosis summary, lab reports, radiology reports, nurse’s notes, drug prescriptions, physical therapist notes and discharge summary for the big picture. 

We have covered the significance of many of these documents in a medical malpractice case but, we are now going to look at a seemingly innocent-looking document: the radiology reports.

Radiology Reports

Let us first clarify what kind of tests and reports fall under the broad category of radiology reports – Any test that is ordered by your physician that consists of imagining such as MRI, X-ray, and CT fall under this category. A radiologist is responsible for performing these tests under the guidance of a certified physician in line with the physician’s recommendations. Your physician will recommend a preferred angle, side, and direction of viewing based on their examination. Radiology reports contain the nature of the test, clinic history, physician request form, physician notes, test results, and radiologist’s recommendations.

Radology Report

Significance of Radiology reports

  • Radiology reports are key documents when it comes to internal injuries or issues related to blood clots, tumors, and stones. The radiologist has the responsibility to carry out the physician’s instructions and also provide their diagnosis based on the results and medical expertise. Failure to communicate a diagnosis clearly can be fatal for the patient.
  • Also, the radiologists have the responsibility to raise alarms if the images remain inconclusive and push for further imaging tests.
  • Medical summary firms also scrutinize and summarize the radiology reports to understand the doctor’s diagnosis process and see if the due “standard of care” was provided. Doctors are obliged to provide a standard of care prescribed by the authorities, and failure to do so can be considered negligent behavior.
  • The interpretation of results from the radiologists becomes very important in cases where surgery is involved. Physicians mid-surgery rely on radiologists to interpret imaging and identify any issues during surgery.
  • In the case of ER admittance and accident-related admissions, the decisions made in the radiology room shapes the course of treatment hence must be crystal clear without any room for interpretation

Including the Radiologists in Medical Malpractice Suit

In a year, close to 7% of total radiologists get sued for malpractice. The question is, when is it appropriate to include the radiologist in the medical malpractice suit. To answer this, you must analyze the chronology of events described in the medical summary and understand where is the origin of misdiagnosis or medical negligence. 

Cases where there is an error in the radiology report, an incorrect diagnosis from the radiologist, lack of details in the radiology report, and non-timely delivery of the radiology report are where radiologists come into the malpractice suit.

Role of Medical Summary Firms

Radiology reports are highly technical in nature. You need them to be read in conjunction with the other medical documents to understand the significance. A medical summary firm can review, summarize, and analyze all the necessary details for easy handling of the case for a legal firm.

Contact The Medsum today for a quote and see how we can start a fruitful relationship today.