Medical Errors Arising from Outsourcing Laboratory and Radiology Services

Brian S. Chasin, Sean P. Elliott, Stephen A. Klotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: Document errors and the nuisance factor inherent in the informational exchange that occurs with the outsourcing of laboratory and radiology examinations. Methods: Three infectious diseases physicians at a tertiary care hospital recorded problems involving data transmitted by telephone or fax from outsource providers for 4 months. This included in- and outpatients, and those in transition from one status to another. Results: Outsourcing laboratory and radiology examinations of insured outpatients is a common practice. Insurance companies determine which healthcare facility performs these tests based on contractual agreements with outsource providers. This leads to confusion and frustration for the doctor and patient alike, and occasionally, to medical error. Conclusions: The exchange of patient data involved in outsourcing is subject to systemic errors that do not allow of easy solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819.e9-819.e11
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Medical error
  • Outsourcing laboratory
  • Outsourcing radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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