News: Georgia Radiology Tech Falsified Mammogram Results
In April 2014, a former Georgia radiology technician was sentenced to six months in a state detention center, after admitting to falsifying nearly 1,300 mammogram reports. The technician was 33-year-old Rachael Rapraeger, an employee of Perry Hospital. For about 18 months, lasting from the end of 2008 to early 2010, Ms. Rapraeger used doctors’ computers to enter negative mammogram results for patients.
Falsifying mammogram results
Situated approximately 100 miles south of Atlanta, Perry is a small community of less than 15,000 residents. At Perry Hospital, Rachael Rapraeger experienced personal issues, which led her to lose complete interest in caring for her job. As a result, the mammogram piles began to pile up, leaving her with time-consuming paperwork. In an effort to avoid doing the necessary paperwork before the mammograms could be sent to a radiologist, she began entering negative results in the computer. Of the 1,300 mammograms that she falsely entered as negative, 10 were actually positive.
When Rachael Rapraeger falsified more than a thousand patients’ mammogram results, it led to harm to the 10 women who did have breast cancer. Sharon Holmes is among the affected hospital patients, noticing a lump in her chest just three months after her supposedly negative mammogram. In February 2010, she requested a new mammogram, which revealed she had aggressive stage 2 breast cancer.
In early April, Rachael Rapraeger pled guilty to 10 misdemeanor charges of reckless conduct and one felony charge of computer forgery. Her resultant sentence was up to six months in a detention center and 10 years on probation. The court also imposed $12,500 in fines. For patients who received false negative reports, the sentence didn’t seem harsh enough. Houston Judicial Circuit Attorney George Hartwig said that his office weighed the evidence against Ms. Rapraeger and believed that the plea was the right outcome.
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