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HCC Case Study: Quality Change & Refund

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Published on Apr 29, 2018

The Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) resolves complaints about healthcare and the handling of health records in Victoria, Australia. See hcc.vic.gov.au for details.

This case study is a real complaint we handled, with names and some details changed for privacy reasons.

THE COMPLAINT

Theo complained after a routine radiology procedure led to side effects he hadn’t been warned about.

The radiologist injected dye into Theo’s vein before a scan to check circulation, but Theo says he was rough when handling him and did not stop the procedure when he said it hurt.

Over the next day or two his arm swelled and continued to hurt, so Theo paid for other medical appointments and medication to treat this reaction.

The side effect – known as extravasation, where medication leaks into tissue surrounding an intravenous injection site – hadn’t been mentioned on the consent form Theo signed.




WHAT WE DID

We helped Theo explain his complaint to the radiologist, who replied that this side effect was not uncommon and had been treated appropriately when it happened.

The radiologist agreed to add extravasation to the list of side effects in the information sheet for patients but declined the request for reimbursement. So we spoke to the radiologist’s insurer.


THE OUTCOME:

The insurer agreed with the radiologist that the injury did not warrant compensation, but offered to cover Theo’s out-of-pocket expenses for follow-up treatment as a sign of goodwill.

Theo received his money to cover expenses and a copy of the clinic’s new consent form showing extravasation was now listed.

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