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Claims insights: radiologists

What are the main issues driving radiologist members' compensation claims and complaints? Find out the underlying themes and insights to reduce your risk of these types of claims and complaints, in our analysis.

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

Compensation claims and complaints insights - radiologists

Overview

More than two-thirds of medico-legal matters were compensation claims or regulatory complaints.

Almost two-thirds of closed claims and complaints were about diagnosis. Of these, almost 7 in 10 alleged incorrect interpretation of images.

Neoplasms were the most common condition in diagnosis-related claims and complaints, with injuries the second most common.

Radiologists were assessed as having met the standard of care in half of claims and complaints against them.

Practice points

  • Have processes in place to decrease risk of diagnostic error. Consider how you follow standards and guidelines and use available tools such as checklists.
  • Seek clarification from the referrer or patient if more detail about the patient’s clinical history would assist you.
  • In reports, be clear about the limitations of imaging when relevant, and document any discussions with referrers.
  • Complete reports in a timely manner and discuss significant results with referrers.

Incidence and breakdown by type of matter are based on all matters indemnified by Avant for radiologists from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022. Underlying themes and assessment of care are based on Avant claims and complaints closed from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022.

1 in 10

Avant radiologist members per year were subject to a claim, complaint, employment dispute or another type of matter relating to their provision of health care.

* Five-year average

Types of medico-legal matters

Types of medico-legal matters

Types of compensation claims and regulatory complaints

Types of compensation claims and regulatory complaints

Assessment of the care provided

Assessment of the care provided
(% of complaints/claims where the assessment of the expected standards on the main factor is known.)

Diagnosis

Diagnosis-related claims and complaints referred to failed or delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Most involved allegations of incorrect interpretation of images (68%) e.g. abnormality not detected, followed by a delay or failure to report on imaging (15%).

Most common conditions involved in missed or delayed diagnosis

Diagnosis
(% of total diagnosis-related issues)

Stage of care where procedural issues occurred

Stage of care where procedural issues occurred
(% of total procedural issues)

Support for radiologists

Avant provides you with access to the My Well-Being Index app to help you manage the stress and challenges associated with your practice. The app uses the Well-Being Index developed by the Mayo Clinic to help you identify burnout and increase awareness of your wellbeing.

Glossary

Matters include claims, complaints, coronial cases and other matters such as employment disputes and Medicare.

Claims refers to claims for money, compensation and civil claims.

Complaints relates to formal complaints to regulators.

Employment disputes are matters where Avant defends members against complaints or supports members to resolve employment issues.

Medicare matters include Medicare investigations and audits.

More Resources

For articles, factsheets, case studies and other resources on a range of topics, visit the Insights & Resources page.

For any queries on this analysis, please contact research@avant.org.au

Download claims insights

Claims insights: radiologists (PDF)

Disclaimers


IMPORTANT:
Avant routinely codes information collected in the course of assisting member doctors in medico-legal matters into a standardised, deidentified dataset. This retrospective analysis was conducted using this dataset. The findings represent the experience of these doctors in the period of time specified, which may not reflect the experience of all doctors in Australia. This publication is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practise proper clinical decision-making with regard to the individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Avant is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information. Information is only current at the date initially published. © Avant Mutual Group Limited 2023.

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