A multiobserver study of the effects of including point-of-care patient photographs with portable radiography: A means to detect wrong-patient errors

Academic Article


  • Rationale and Objectives: To evaluate whether the presence of facial photographs obtained at the point-of-care of portable radiography leads to increased detection of wrong-patient errors. Materials and Methods: In this institutional review board-approved study, 166 radiograph-photograph combinations were obtained from 30 patients. Consecutive radiographs from the same patients resulted in 83 unique pairs (ie, a new radiograph and prior, comparison radiograph) for interpretation. To simulate wrong-patient errors, mismatched pairs were generated by pairing radiographs from different patients chosen randomly from the sample. Ninety radiologists each interpreted a unique randomly chosen set of 10 radiographic pairs, containing up to 10% mismatches (ie, error pairs). Radiologists were randomly assigned to interpret radiographs with or without photographs. The number of mismatches was identified, and interpretation times were recorded. Results: Ninety radiologists with 21±10 (mean±standard deviation) years of experience were recruited to participate in this observer study. With the introduction of photographs, the proportion of errors detected increased from 31% (9 of 29) to 77% (23 of 30; P=.006). The odds ratio for detection of error with photographs to detection without photographs was 7.3 (95% confidence interval: 2.29-23.18). Observer qualifications, training, or practice in cardiothoracic radiology did not influence sensitivity for error detection. There is no significant difference in interpretation time for studies without photographs and those with photographs (60±22 vs. 61±25seconds; P=.77). Conclusions: In this observer study, facial photographs obtained simultaneously with portable chest radiographs increased the identification of any wrong-patient errors, without substantial increase in interpretation time. This technique offers a potential means to increase patient safety through correct patient identification. © 2014 AUR.
  • Published In

  • Academic Radiology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9817474
  • Author List

  • Tridandapani S; Ramamurthy S; Provenzale J; Obuchowski NA; Evanoff MG; Bhatti P
  • Start Page

  • 1038
  • End Page

  • 1047
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 8