OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to assess the risk of medical malpractice litigation for Italian radiologists, compared with the corresponding data in the literature. MATERIALS AND METHODS. The insurance claims of Italian radiologists over the 1993-2006 period were anonymously assessed and classified according to the cause of the claim. RESULTS. A total of 1,424 claims were filed during the examined period, with most claims being filed at a considerable time interval after the event (up to 10 years). The resulting incidence may be estimated as 44.2 cases per 1,000, meaning that 44% of Italian radiologists have received, or will receive, summons regarding their professional activity during the past 10 years. CONCLUSION. The risk of medical malpractice litigation for Italian radiologists is by now comparable to that for American radiologists. Comparison with previous data concerning the same study population shows that the diagnostic errors category has surpassed all other error categories (nondiagnostic errors) and that, within the diagnostic errors category, claims for allegedly missed cancer have surpassed claims for allegedly missed bone abnormalities. Among missed diagnosis claims, the maximum increase concerned mammograms. Strict adherence to radiologic standards and radiotherapy protocols may be a means of reducing the risk of legal action and obviating litigation.
- Clinical risk management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging