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Minimizing radiology errors in six steps

Many residents of Pennsylvania are the victims of medical errors. In fact, these are behind 10% of all deaths in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. Radiology plays a big role in such errors. False-positive readings can account for as much as 30% of all diagnoses resulting from CT scans and MRIs.

There are six ways, though, to keep the possibility of radiology errors down. First is to have a peer-review process where radiologists can provide anonymous feedback on each other’s work performance. Performance is often compromised by long hours and excessive workloads, including excessive time spent on EHRs and documentation for insurance filings. The second step, then, is to prevent physician burnout.

Third, radiologists can benefit from the help of artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning technologies. They also need to learn how to provide timely follow-ups for incidental findings. A fifth step is to institute structured reporting. This can keep physicians from relying too much on memory and improve their thinking with a checklist of things to watch for.

The last way is through education. It should ideally help radiologists strike a balance between analytical and intuitive thinking as well as make them aware of any cognitive biases. Learning management systems can continually educate physicians and bring new employees up to date.

These steps cannot prevent all medical errors, though. When medical errors lead to unnecessary treatments and other harm, patients may want to consult an attorney who works in medical malpractice law. If they can prove that the doctor was negligent and link that negligence to their injuries, they may have a case. A successful medical malpractice claim could cover past and future medical expenses, income lost during the physical recovery and even any diminished capacity to earn a living. A lawyer may handle the filing process.