Errors in radiologic dating

See: errors are important in all branches of medicine because they are an indication of poor patient care.

Since the early 1970s, physicians have been subjected to an increasing number of medical malpractice claims.

Robinson pointed out that radiology’s Achilles heel is “error and variation in the interpretation of the Roentgen image”[1].

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Lack of appreciation of colorectal carcinoma on barium enema studies, lung nodules on chest radiographs, breast lesions on mammograms, and bone tumors on plain radiographs are the predominant problems[2-4].

Informed consent for procedures related to interventional radiology is a relatively frequent source of legal problems as well[6].

Perceived stress is associated with an increase in the number of errors committed in the subsequent period, thus creating a vicious cycle whereby errors lead to stress, which in turn leads to new errors[8].

Physicians may feel a sense of guilt resulting from the error and may fear suffering professional and economic consequences and being isolated by their own colleagues and clients[9].

A malpractice claim arises when a patient believes that improper medical care has resulted in bodily harm.

An error in the interpretation of a radiograph, including misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose, is an example of a general type of claim in radiology.Reducing errors will improve patient care, may reduce costs and will improve the image of the hospital.Radiologic problems that have led to medical malpractice lawsuits most frequently have been due to “failure to diagnose”.This means oversight of abnormalities or misinterpretation of radiologic images[2-5].These types of claims account for about 40%-54% of radiology-related medical malpractice cases[2].Every radiologist should understand the sources of error in diagnostic radiology as well as the elements of negligence that form the basis of malpractice litigation.

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