How important is it to check everything thoroughly?


No matter what you do, we are always told to check what we have done, sometimes not once, not twice but at least three times. This is an irksome task, but essential if we are going to be accurate and clearly understood by others. This applies to one’s writing and I am the first to admit that I have to force myself to read through what I have written even once.

However, it struck me yesterday, that the need for thorough checking procedures has far more serious consequences in other fields. I have been in contact with a geneticist at a large hospital. The plan was to see if I have a genetic inclination to cancer. I went to the nurse at our GP’s surgery.  My veins would not produce enough blood to get a sample. The geneticist sent me repeat phials, with a self-addressed envelope and my GP took the blood samples. She placed the phials in the self-addressed envelope and the samples were collected by the car provided by the genetic institute. No results came. I wrote and asked what had happened. I received a letter stating that the genetic institute had not received the samples and that the GP would probably be able to shed light on what had happened.

It seemed clear to me that the assumption was that the GP was at fault. I have checked with the GP and the evidence at the surgery is that the blood samples were taken by the genetic institute’s car.  I wonder, had the geneticist checked thoroughly? Had the car driver confirmed receiving a list of samples received that day? Had the laboratory signed for specific samples delivered? Were there any ‘unclaimed’ samples left over that day? Had the car driver thrown the samples out the window?

It seems obvious that the error occurred at the genetic institute. By failing to check things thoroughly it makes one wonder about the accuracy and reliability of their laboratory results.  Let us hope there are sufficient checking procedures when they do their tests!

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3 Responses to “How important is it to check everything thoroughly?”

  1. Terri Fancourt Says:

    A while back, my brother in-law received test results back from a simple check up which showed his cholesterol levels to be sky high. He was given a severe diet and told that if he didn’t stick to it he’d be dead in six months.

    Three months later he went for follow up appointment and they re-ran the tests. His results were normal. They investigated and yes, it seems he was given the wrong test results. There’s some poor bloke out there with 3 months to live who still doesn’t know…

    Eeek.

    Cheers

    Mary

  2. Terri Fancourt Says:

    PS… how do you get the star thing to appear on your posts? I’d be intrigued to add it to mine!

    Cheers (again)

    Mary

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