Friday, August 16, 2019

Letter to Another Doctor

Letter Sent to Another Doctor's Office
Opportunities for improvement can come when we address them.  Please address them!

Dear Management,

On August 8, 2019 I was contacted by a person who used your services because of a swollen pinky.  An x-ray was taken and the patient was told that the next finger over (the ring finger) was fractured and an infection had developed.  This patient was prescribed antibiotics and it was suggested they see an orthopedist specializing in hands because of the fracture, which they did.

As it turns out, the patient did not have a fractured finger (the x-ray was read incorrectly). The patient had gout, which needed medication, not an antibiotic.

Pulse CPSEA is a patient safety organization dedicated to raising awareness about patient safety through advocacy, education, and support.
The following information may be helpful to share among your staff.

  • Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States  
  • 80,000 to 160,000 people are harmed due to misdiagnosis each year with 40,000 to   80,000 deaths each year caused by misdiagnosis 
Additional patient safety statistics, with references can be found at    This letter and information are being sent to you in the hope that they may be used to improve knowledge and understanding as well as quality of care and patient safety in your office. I trust you will take my comments in the positive spirit with which they are offered. No official report will be filed at this time but I would appreciate a response indicating how this information was shared, and the steps taken to correct the concerns raised, so I can inform the person who contacted our office that it is, in fact, being addressed.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

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