|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2005
HHC ACTING PRESIDENT ALAN AVILES ANNOUNCES PROCEDURE FOR CONTACTING WOMEN WHO HAVE NOT BEEN INFORMED OF ABNORMAL PAP RESULTS
NEW YORK CITY - May 17, 2005
Jacobi Medical Center has determined that 307 women may not have been informed of abnormal Pap results from tests conducted at Jacobi within the last 16 months. This issue came to HHC’s attention after a patient at Jacobi Medical Center complained that there had been a delay in informing her of an abnormal Pap test. This patient has received the necessary follow-up and treatment. However, after reviewing other cases, Jacobi staff determined that this was not an isolated incident.
An extensive review traced this problem to a notification practice change that started in December of 2003. The hospital has reviewed the results of all 19,650 patients tested during this time period and the vast majority of Jacobi patients that received Pap tests during this period had normal test results. Furthermore, the vast majority of patients with abnormal results have been notified and have received follow-up treatment at Jacobi.
As part of an intensive follow-up effort, Jacobi has sent mailgrams and made telephone calls to all 307 women involved and all have been offered an appointment at Jacobi for follow-up services. Thirty women had abnormal results which reflect an elevated risk. To ensure that these women get follow-up care, Jacobi has sent staff to their homes. In addition all other women who could not be reached by telephone are being visited at home by HHC’s Health and Home Care agency. By tomorrow, we expect to complete the notification process for all women who had abnormal test results.
An abnormal Pap test result does not mean that a woman has cervical cancer. In fact more than 99% of women with abnormal Pap results are later determined to be cancer free. However, any woman with an abnormal Pap test results should receive further examination and/or testing.
We have consulted with the New York State Department of Health about the corrective actions that we are taking. In addition, appropriate disciplinary action has been taken with regard to the clinical and administrative managers involved, including the suspension of the Clinical Director of GYN Services, the Nursing Director of Women's Health Services and the Executive Director of the hospital.
Because there may be many women with negative Pap tests during this period who will be anxious to confirm that their tests were, in fact, negative, Jacobi staff will be available to answer questions from any patient who has been given a Pap test at Jacobi. The numbers to call are (718) 918-6514 or 311.
Alan Aviles, Acting President of the Health and Hospitals Corporation said, "We are seriously concerned that many of the women who underwent Pap tests during this period may not have been notified of their results. We sincerely apologize for the distress that this has caused them. Our patients trust us to provide the highest quality care and what happened is completely intolerable. We have taken strong disciplinary actions against several members of the Jacobi staff and are implementing systems to ensure that this never happens again."