Radiology incident reporting systems provide one source of invaluable patient safety data that, when combined with appropriate analysis and action, can result in significantly safer health care, which is now an urgent priority for governments worldwide. Such systems require integration into a wider safety, quality, and risk management framework because many issues have global implications, and they also require an international classification scheme, which is now being developed. These systems can be used to inform global research activities as identified by the World Health Organization, many of which intersect with the activities of and issues seen in medical imaging departments. How to ensure that radiologists (and doctors in general) report incidents, and are engaged in the process, is a challenge. However, as demonstrated with the example of the Australian Radiology Events Register, this can be achieved when the reporting system is integrated with their professional organization and its other related activities (such as training and education) and administered by a patient safety organization.
Copyright 2010 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.