Journal Article

Errare humanum est: frequency of laterality errors in radiology reports.

Sangwaiya MJ; Saini S; Blake MA; Dreyer KJ; Kalra MK.

Errors that occur in clinical settings away from the bedside have been described in pathology, laboratory medicine, and radiology. This study investigated the anecdotally common yet poorly studied incidence of laterality errors in radiology reports (between the body and impression sections) and their clinical significance. Investigators reviewed more than 1 million reports at a single institution and discovered a very low rate of laterality errors (less than 0.01%). They were most common in "verbose" computed tomography (CT) and mammography reports with nearly 70% of all errors being graded as clinically important. The authors advocate for a regular auditing system to track such laterality errors, including expectations for double-checking reports before they are finalized.