1,800 CT scans went unread at Walter Reed since 2011

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center failed to read nearly 2,000 radiology scans dating back to 2011, according to an internal investigation reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Between 2011 and 2016, about 1,300 scans of patients' faces and jaws went unread at Walter Reed's Naval Postgraduate Dental School. In 2018, another backlog occurred, with 500 scans going unread at the Bethesda, Md.-based medical center.

The delays stemmed from inadequate processes, poor physician oversight, an overworked radiologist and technical issues, according to an investigation completed in August. No one was reprimanded over the issues, since inspectors found no signs of malicious intent for the delays, Navy officials told WSJ.

Walter Reed rechecked all unread scans and discovered no medical reasons to follow up with affected patients.

"The investigation determined that the [cone beam computed tomography] backlog did not result in adverse outcomes for patients and made several recommendations to improve procedures," Ed Gulick, a spokesperson for Navy Medicine, told WSJ. "The backlog of CBCT scans has been cleared, and the investigation's recommendations are currently being implemented by the Naval Postgraduate Dental School."

To view the full report, click here.

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