Failure to Include PSA Test Results in Medical Record Prompts $1.4M Settlement
April 3, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
A New York county, New York malpractice suit regarding a missing prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test result in a patient's file settled with the defendant internist and lab testing facility before trial for $1.4 million, with each defendant contributing half of the settlement. According to the plaintiff's claim, the error resulted in a delayed cancer diagnosis and reduced the patient's chance of a cure, as well as shortening his life expectancy, states a report from Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). The plaintiff was in his 50s when he saw his physician for a routine annual visit. The physician allegedly ordered a PSA test, but the results of the test were not included in the medical record, either because the test was not performed or because the results were not reported in the patient's record—an oversight that the internist should have noticed, according to the case report. PSA testing performed the following year showed "marked elevation" of the patient's PSA levels. Soon after, the patient was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had metastasized to the seminal vesicles and surrounding tissues.