Walter Reed National Medical Center let nearly 2,000 CT scans go unread

Physicians left close to 2,000 CT scans unread for years at Walter Reed National Medical Center. But an investigation found there was no malicious intent and no punishment was ever handed down, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

That same investigation, according to the news outlet, found at least one delay in treatment, while one physician fears hundreds more may have occurred as a result of the missed scans. The miscues were caused by “faulty processes,” physician oversight, technical missteps and an overworked radiologist, according to the Journal.

Laura Ike, a former Navy oral pathologist discovered the problem in 2016 after she couldn’t locate a patient’s cone beam CT (CBCT) scan. After searching the Bethesda, Maryland-based center’s system, she found 1,300 scans from 2011-2016 had not been read.

“The investigation determined that the CBCT backlog did not result in adverse outcomes for patients and made several recommendations to improve procedures,” Ed Gulick, spokesman for Navy Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal. “The backlog of CBCT scans has been cleared, and the investigation’s recommendations are currently being implemented by the Naval Postgraduate Dental School.”

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