Patient safety incidents in radiology: Frequency and distribution of incident types

Ömer Kasalak, Derya Yakar, Rudi Ajo Dierckx, Thomas C Kwee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background Patient safety incidents may be a valuable source of information to learn from and to prevent future errors. Purpose To determine the distribution of patient safety incident types in radiology according to the International Classification for Patient Safety (ICPS), and to comprehensively review those incidents that were either harmful or serious in terms of risk of patient harm and reoccurrence. Material and Methods The most recent five-year database (2014-2019) of a radiology incident reporting system was evaluated. Results A total of 480 patient safety incidents were included. Top three ICPS incident types were clinical administration (119/480, 24.8%), resources/organizational management (112/480, 23.3%), and clinical process/procedure (91/480, 19.0%). Harm severities were none in 457 (95.2%) cases, mild in 14 (2.9%), moderate in 4 (0.8%), severe in 3 (0.6%), and unknown in one case. Subsequent Prevention Recovery Information System for Monitoring and Analysis (PRISMA) reviews were performed in 4 (0.8%) cases. The three patient safety incidents that caused severe harm (of which one underwent PRISMA review) involved resources/organizational management (n = 1), clinical process/procedure (n = 1), and medication/IV fluids (n = 1). Three other cases (with no harm in two cases and moderate harm in one case) that underwent PRISMA review involved resources/organizational management (n = 2) and medical device/equipment/property (n = 1). Conclusion Radiology-related patient safety incidents predominantly occur in three ICPS domains (clinical administration, resources/organizational management, and clinical process/procedure). Harmful/serious incidents are relatively rare. The standardly and transparently reported findings from this study may be used for healthcare quality improvement, benchmarking purposes, and as a primer for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-666
Number of pages14
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number5
Early online date29-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - May-2021


  • Medical errors
  • patient safety
  • quality of healthcare
  • radiology
  • MRI


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