Error review: can this improve reporting performance?

Clin Radiol. 2001 Sep;56(9):751-4. doi: 10.1053/crad.2001.0760.


Aim: This study aimed to assess whether error review can improve radiologists' reporting performance.

Materials and methods: Ten Consultant Radiologists reported 50 plain radiographs, in which the diagnoses were established. Eighteen of the radiographs were normal, 32 showed an abnormality. The radiologists were shown their errors and then re-reported the series of radiographs after an interval of 4-5 months. The accuracy of the reports to the established diagnoses was assessed. Chi-square test was used to calculate the difference between the viewings.

Results: On re-reporting the radiographs, seven radiologists improved their accuracy score, two had a lower score and one radiologist showed no score difference. Mean accuracy pre-education was 82.2%, (range 78-92%) and post-education was 88%, (range 76-96%). Individually, two of the radiologists showed a statistically significant improvement post-education (P < 0.01,P < 0.05). Assessing the group as a whole, there was a trend for improvement post-education but this did not reach statistical significance. Assessing only the radiographs where errors were made on the initial viewing, for the group as a whole there was a 63% improvement post-education.

Conclusion: We suggest that radiologists benefit from error review, although there was not a statistically significant improvement for the series of radiographs in total. This is partly explained by the fact that some radiologists gave incorrect responses post-education that had initially been correct, thus masking the effect of the educational intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Diagnostic Errors / prevention & control*
  • Education, Continuing / methods
  • England
  • False Negative Reactions
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knowledge of Results, Psychological*
  • Radiography / standards*
  • Radiology / education*