Researchers Assess Accuracy of Radiology Readings in EDs

Physicians at Georgetown University and George Washington University, both in Washington D.C., assessed radiology discrepancies resulting from radiograph interpretations that occur in hospital emergency departments and analyzed the types of errors made by emergency physicians, according to an article published in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.


The researchers consulted an ED quality assurance database that detailed all radiology discrepancies that occurred between emergency physicians and the radiology department from June 1996 to May 2005. During this time period, the ED ordered 151,693 radiographs.

Results showed that approximately 3 percent of radiographs interpreted by emergency physicians are given a different interpretation by the radiology attending. The most commonly missed findings include fractures, dislocations, air-space disease and pulmonary nodes. Researchers suggest continuing education to reduce the incidence of radiology discrepancies.

Read the news report about radiology in EDs.

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