Radiology Research in Quality and Safety

Current Trends and Future Needs
Published:November 29, 2016DOI:
      Promoting quality and safety research is now essential for radiology as reimbursement is increasingly tied to measures of quality, patient safety, efficiency, and appropriateness of imaging. This article provides an overview of key features necessary to promote successful quality improvement efforts in radiology. Emphasis is given to current trends and future opportunities for directing research. Establishing and maintaining a culture of safety is paramount to organizations wishing to improve patient care. The correct culture must be in place to support quality initiatives and create accountability for patient care. Focused educational curricula are necessary to teach quality and safety-related skills and behaviors to trainees, staff members, and physicians. The increasingly complex healthcare landscape requires that organizations build effective data infrastructures to support quality and safety research. Incident reporting systems designed specifically for medical imaging will benefit quality improvement initiatives by identifying and learning from system errors, enhancing knowledge about safety, and creating safer systems through the implementation of standardized practices and standards. Finally, validated performance measures must be developed to accurately reflect the value of the care we provide for our patients and referring providers. Common metrics used in radiology are reviewed with focus on current and future opportunities for investigation.

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