California – Cardiology – Discrepancy Between Echocardiogram Interpretation And Progress Note

On 4/7/2010, a pediatric cardiologist started following a patient for a small atrial communication, a patent foramen ovale (PFO).  On examination, the patient had a heart murmur with normal splitting of the second heart sound. An echocardiogram revealed the PFO.  He was asked to return in 1 year.

On 4/6/2011, the patient underwent a subsequent echocardiogram.  The results were normal. The pediatric cardiologist’s interpretation was “spontaneous closure of a PFO/ASD.”  His progress note of the same day stated “today’s echo/Doppler confirms the PFO is still present.”

The Medical Board of California judged that the pediatric cardiologist’s conduct departed from the standard of care because his progress note did not reflect the results of the echocardiogram from 4/6/2011.

For this case and others, the Medical Board of California ordered the pediatric cardiologist to surrender his license.

State: California

Date: January 2017

Specialty: Cardiology, Pediatrics

Symptom: N/A

Diagnosis: N/A

Medical Error: Lack of proper documentation

Significant Outcome: N/A

Case Rating: 1

Link to Original Case File: Download PDF

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