How to minimize errors in your radiology reports

Updated: Jun 30, 2020

Mistakes are inevitable, even for the most highly trained radiologists. So how can you turn errors into opportunities?

Frequency of Radiology Errors

Believe it or not, more than 20% of patients say they found errors in their EHR outpatient care notes. Of these patients, 40% thought the mistake was “serious.” You can read the Harvard Medical School study, which surveyed almost 30,000 patients, in JAMA Network Open.

The mistakes patients reported included those in radiology results or summaries of radiology reports. As more patients demand transparency in medical data, it is vital for radiologists to find ways to reduce errors in their reports.

How to Minimize Radiology Errors

Radiologists already work under enormous pressure, and nobody wants to make mistakes at work. Yet findings show that errors and discrepancies in radiology occur at an estimated day-to-day rate of 3-5%. However, many radiology reports are based on opinion and are not definitive, so many errors are not caused by negligence.

So how can radiology departments reduce errors? Here are a few strategies:

  • Address common underlying causes of errors, such as visual fatigue, mental fatigue, and caseload.

  • Use diagnostic checklists for radiologists, especially for complex or high-risk studies.

  • Ensure that radiologists communicate effectively by having them proofread their reports and dictation.

  • Implement real-time concurrence review, or “double-reading,” with a second radiologist. This approach should be completed rapidly, apply only to complex cases, and reconcile any discrepancies between reader interpretations.

  • Use computer-aided detection (CAD) and other software solutions for some examinations, using pattern recognition algorithms to flag areas that require a closer look during interpretation.

With advanced imaging, secure image sharing, and augmented reality surgical solutions, Novarad’s clinical and enterprise software solutions can help reduce common errors in your radiology department. Contact us today to learn more about what our solutions can do for you.

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