U.K. issues guidance on alerts for imaging reports

2019 07 19 18 39 5407 Alert Safety Risk 400

The U.K. Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) has released recommendations on alerts and notifications for imaging reports.

The main objective of this document is to ensure prompt and effective imaging result notification and its subsequent action to protect patient safety. It provides definitions of categories of imaging findings that would require an alert notification and national alert text codes for imaging reports. Also included is a list of critical findings for which an alert should be triggered, the RCR said.

The document was developed as a result of the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) Report ‘Failures in communication or follow-up of unexpected significant radiological findings.’ The report highlighted the case of a patient with lung cancer on a chest radiograph that was not reported and acted upon promptly by several different clinical teams, leading to delayed diagnosis and poor outcome.

The guidance was crafted by RCR's patient safety adviser Dr. Teik Choon See of Cancer Research U.K. in collaboration with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Surgeons, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Society of Radiographers, and National Health Service Digital.

The RCR plans to host a webinar regarding the new guidance on 20 October. Participants will include Dr. Teik Choon See, RCR Vice President Clinical Radiology Dr. William Ramsden, RCR Medical Director Professional Practice Dr. Raman Uberoi, NHS England Clinical Lead for Imaging Digital and IT Transformation Dr. Graham Robinson, and representation from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Registration is free.

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