New details released after health dept. fails to notify women of abnormal test results

- New details have surfaced in the investigation into the Mecklenburg County Health Department’s failure to notify woman about abnormal test results from cancer screenings.

A major development Tuesday it that the Director of the County Health Department said all the women who had not been notified have now been found. However, County Commissioners are still concerned with why their results went unreported.

Related: Meck. Co. Health Dept. apologizes after failing to notify women of abnormal test results

Of the 185 patients that had not received follow-up from their initial pap smear, 110 need repeat pap smears and 75 need referrals to a specialty clinic for a colposcopy exam. The 75 patients needing follow-up care Dr. Plescia said were harder to find.

Forty seen by the board certified doctor the health department brought in, 16 have seen a specialist somewhere else, another 16 are scheduled for specialist visits and three no longer live in the state. But the department is still working with them to get follow-up care.

In the meantime, internal reviews are still taking place.   

"We also have asked the State Division of Public Health to come in and they have actually decided to do an agency review, which means they will look at all the programs in the Health Department. They began today. Today, the Women and Children's Health Department consultants are here and that's actually the department that deals with the pap smear issue.”

The North Carolina Division of Health Services Regulation also came Tuesday unannounced. Dr. Plescia said an employee called in a complaint about equality issues or issues in the lab. They requested to review some patient record, wanted information on policy and procedures, and also asked documentation about a lab employee who recently resigned.

County Commissioners had lots of questions mostly regarding the chain of command and why the problem wasn’t identified sooner. Commissioner Vilma Leake also condemned the health director for taking so long to find the patients affected.    

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