Thousands of heart tests unread at Harlem Hospital

The News Leader

May 26, 2010 5:52:04 AM PDT
Officials say nearly 4,000 tests for heart disease ordered by doctors at New York City's Harlem Hospital over the past three years were never read. Hospital officials said the echocardiogram tests were stored on a computer and forgotten.

Under the hospital's system, technicians scanned tests and flagged any that looked abnormal. Officials said it appeared that unflagged tests were set aside and forgotten.

That system is not used at other city hospitals.

The Health and Hospitals Corporation acknowledged the problem after The New York Times asked about it. It said the patients will be notified and told if they need follow-up treatment.

HHC said one doctor was fired and another was demoted.