Radiological misinterpretations by emergency physicians in discharged minor trauma patients

Su Jin Kim, Sung Woo Lee, Yun Sik Hong, Do Hyoun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Unerring radiological interpretation is essential in discharged minor trauma patients without follow-up visits based on the rapid decision of emergency physicians (EPs). Misinterpretation may raise issues concerning patient care, reimbursement and lawsuits. The authors investigated the discrepancies and associated factors in radiological interpretation for discharged trauma patients between EPs and radiologists. Methods: The authors included trauma patients who visited the emergency department, from 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010, and searched for cases showing discrepancy using the 'modified quality assurance model for radiological interpretation'. The overall/clinically significant discrepancy (CSD)/clinically insignificant discrepancy (CinSD) rates were calculated. The authors also looked at the relationship between discrepancies and several factors including age and time of visit. Results: 10 243 cases were related to minor trauma, in which the radiological images were interpreted as normal by EPs. The overall discrepancy, the CSD and CinSD rates were 0.77% (n=79), 0.47% (n=48) and 0.3% (n=31), respectively. No discrepancy was shown to be related to the day or time of visit. The discrepancy rate turned out to be relatively higher with increasing age, and for injuries of the extremities. No associated factors were found between the CSD and CinSD groups. Conclusions: Despite a relatively low CSD rate, careful interpretation is recommended considering age and body areas imaged. A modified model would be needed as a supportive tool for training and improving the quality of care. A further development of the modified system for efficient use of resources will be needed to focus on quality improvement and education in each hospital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-639
Number of pages5
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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