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Communication errors in radiology – Pitfalls and how to avoid them

      Highlights

      • Often the only communication between radiologists and referring clinicians, a meaningful clinical history should be obtained whenever possible to increase diagnostic accuracy.
      • Radiologists should be cognizant of the difference between descriptors and inferences when composing their report to avoid erroneous conclusions.
      • Radiologists should be cognizant that patients are increasingly consumers of report content
      • Actionable findings should be communicated in an expedited fashion to decrease errors and thoroughly documented.

      Abstract

      Communication failures are a common cause of patient harm and malpractice claims against radiologists. In addition to overt communication breakdowns among providers, it is also important to address the quality of communication to optimize patient outcomes. In this review, we describe common communication failures and potential solutions providing a framework for radiologists to improve health care delivery.

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