College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick

Recent litigation in New Brunswick and other provinces has concerned the question of the physician's obligation to track and retrieve diagnostic reports and forward relevant information to the patient. Even though some responsibility for a missing report may be attached to a hospital or diagnostic facility, courts have consistently assigned most of the responsibility to the physician who orders the test. Courts appear to acknowledge that, in any complex system, reports can go astray. For that reason, courts have also expected that physicians have developed a "system" of some type to minimize such a risk. Council feels that physicians should review their own practices in the context of these developments.

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