Understanding errors in diagnostic radiology: proposal of a classification scheme and application to emergency radiology


Errors in image interpretation are a common problem in diagnostic radiology. Although many published articles provide trainees with the means to correctly interpret imaging studies, they do not provide a framework for understanding why and how errors occur. In this article, we propose a classification system that allows categorization of errors, which we hope can serve as a basis for peer review, self-education, and quality improvement programs. Our scheme incorporates elements of a classification system proposed by previous authors but also includes novel categories. In this article, we show the usefulness of our scheme by applying it to a specific, and particularly problematic, diagnosis in emergency radiology, namely that of dural sinus thrombosis.

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Correspondence to James M. Provenzale.

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Provenzale, J.M., Kranz, P.G. Understanding errors in diagnostic radiology: proposal of a classification scheme and application to emergency radiology. Emerg Radiol 18, 403 (2011).

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  • Error
  • Classification
  • Dural sinus thrombosis
  • Quality assessment