RIS-PACS, patient safety, and clinical risk management

Andrea Nitrosi, Marco Bertolini, Roberto Sghedoni, Pietro Notari, Pierpaolo Pattacini, Andrea Corazza, Mauro Iori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Clinical risk management is the basis of safety procedures also in radiological workflows. In the literature, it has been documented that the incidence of reconciled radiological studies ranges between 0.2 and 0.5 % of stored studies, a non-negligible value if we consider the high number of diagnostic tests performed. Materials and methods: In radiology, “non-compliance” or, more generally, data to be reconciled means any circumstance in which wrong information is recorded in RIS and/or PACS, which requires processing to amend or correct images, reports or other information in order to attribute them to the right patient/episode. Non-compliance corrections account for almost 50 % of the medical system administrator’s (SA) workload. This paper describes how the Reggio Emilia Province Diagnostic Imaging and Laboratory Medicine Department manages risk in clinical radiology, in compliance with Regional indications on RIS-PACS safety. A dedicated RIS webpage has been developed in order to manage reconciliation requests. Native integration with PACS makes information about ongoing reconciliations available to anyone who consults the images. Results: In 2013, non-compliances reported by radiology staff ranged between 0.25 and 0.35 % of studies sent to the PACS. More than 50 % of non-compliances can be related to high clinical risk, which requires implementation of efficient and effective rapid mechanisms of action–reaction inside and outside the radiology department. Conclusions: The RIS-integrated module has been the starting point for managing and monitoring errors, allowing improvement initiatives to guarantee and optimise workflow. Request and event traceability have allowed us to define personalised training programmes, designed to minimise procedural and/or systematic errors. To protect the availability and consistency of information produced by radiology units, it is necessary to provide integrated and effective mechanisms for reconciliation management. The integrated tool described in this paper is now widely used (not only by our centre): radiographers and radiologists can indicate non-compliances in an efficient and effective manner, informing all the operators involved with just a click of the mouse. Similar functionality should be implemented in the next generation of RIS-PACS in order to maintain the highest possible safety level for patients and workers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)498-503
Number of pages6
JournalRadiologia Medica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2014


  • Errors
  • Incident reporting
  • PACS
  • Reconciliation
  • RIS
  • Risk management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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