Wrong scan tops list of Pa. radiology errors

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

June 1, 2011 -- Performing the wrong scan won out over scanning the wrong patient in a new report by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, which tallied 652 radiology mistakes that exposed patients to potential harm during a year's time.

Of all the events reported to the patient-safety organization, 50% were related to the wrong procedure or test, 30% involved the wrong patient, 15% were related to the wrong side of the patient, and 5% involved imaging the wrong anatomic site. The analysis, covering errors that occurred in 2009, was released on Wednesday in the authority's quarterly Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory (June 2011, Vol. 8:2, pp. 63-69).

Facilities can implement strategies to reduce risk as much as possible, said Dr. John Clarke, clinical director of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.To begin, the advisory's protocol for preventing wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-person surgery can be adapted to nonsurgery disciplines.

The process involves standardizing procedures to ensure that patients are accurately identified and procedures correctly scheduled and performed facility-wide. The protocol provides an assessment tool, sample policy, and teaching module to help patient safety officers determine where their own facility stands with regard to the likelihood of adverse events. Consumer tips also are available to help patients participate in their own healthcare.

More information about the studies and radiology services data are available at the authority's website.

Copyright © 2011 AuntMinnie.com

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