Safety Checklist Can Help Prevent Common Radiological Errors

Posted in: Medical Malpractice | Jun 12,2018

New studies find that the use of a safety checklist can help radiologists prevent errors during severe contrast reactions.

The results of the study were published recently in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Contrast reaction management is a particularly error-prone area of radiology. What makes it worse is that the kind of errors that often result during simulated severe contrast reactions can have life-threatening consequences.

For the study, the researchers created a safety checklist that was based on some of the most common errors that occur after a radiologist has administered an IV contrast medium. A group of radiology residents were split into two groups. Each group participated in the simulation severe contrast reaction scenario. The groups were administered written tests, before and after the simulation.

The researchers found that the group that had the checklist showed much better results compared to the group that did not have the benefit of the checklist. The group that had the checklist was much better equipped to manage the simulated severe contrast reaction, compared to the control group with no checklist. The difference was quite significant with the checklist group showing a mean score of 85.1%, while the other group with no checklist had a mean average score of 64.8%. The group with the safety checklist also scored much better in other areas, such as the treatment of bronchospasms, and epinephrine actions.

Safety checklists can help providers identify radiological errors before they are able to cause severe harm. They can also help reduce the kind of errors that are associated with superior intimidation or lack of communication among team members. Many errors occur because junior staff members are often intimidated by superiors, and fail to speak up even when they identify errors in the administration of the contrast medium. Having a checklist can help identify errors, and will also encourage junior staff to speak up to a superior when they identify errors or problem areas.

Overall, the researchers believe that a safety checklist can help identify errors, and correct inaccurate recommendations made by seniors, thereby helping reduce the life-threatening implications of these errors.

The Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP represent persons who have been injured as a result of radiological errors in the Indianapolis region and across Indiana. If your loved one has suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence, speak to an attorney at our firm, and identify your legal options for a claim.