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DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS

ANCHOR LEAD: MOST PEOPLE ARE DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL WITHOUT COMPLETE TEST RESULTS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

When you’re discharged after a hospital stay, many of your test results from your stay may not be in.  That’s one finding of a recent study on hospital discharges.  Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is a case of patient beware.

MILLER:  Just because you’re going home from the hospital doesn’t mean that all of your tests are back.  There may be studies that your doctor sent to the lab or to radiology we’re still waiting for a final answer.  You need to know what those studies are and whom you’re going to discuss those studies with.  I would ask my doctors in the hospital, are there any tests that aren’t back, and if so, who should I talk with about those tests.  The authors of our study showed that only 25% of discharge summaries included this important information for patients.   :33

Miller says its crucial to remember that you are your best health advocate, and that the responsibility to ask about things like test results may well fall to you.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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