Error and discrepancy in radiology: inevitable or avoidable?
- Adrian P. Brady
- Insights into imaging
Adverse events contribute to significant patient morbidity and mortality on a global scale, and this has been documented in a number of international studies. Despite this, there is limited understanding of medical imaging's involvement in such events. Incident reporting is a key feature of high-reliability organizations because, understandably, it is essential to know where things go wrong and why as the very first step in formulating preventative and corrective strategies. Although anesthesiology has led the way, health care in general has been slow to adopt this technique, and this includes medical imaging. Knowledge as to where medical imaging incidents are initiated and detected, and why, is not well documented or appreciated, although this is critical information in relation to quality improvement. Using an online radiology reporting system, the authors therefore sought to gain further insight and also ascertain where failures are located in the imaging cycle, and whether different incidents sources provide different information. Last, the authors sought to examine the resilience of the imaging system using these incident data.