St. Paul Insurance Companies.... Largest medical malpractice carrier
in the US.
THE FOUR MAJOR CATEGORIES OF RADIOLOGY LAWSUITS (IN RANK ORDER)
1. Missed diagnoses and complications. (Largely, the radiologist's concern.)
2. Failure to x-ray. (Usually the primary physician's concern.)
3. Radiation therapy injuries. (Primarily the radiologist's concern, but also the 91P's.)
4. Slip-and-fall injuries-includes being struck by equipment, rough handling, etc.
(Primarily the 91P's concern.)
4-12. ON RADIOLOGY PERSONNEL TO KEEP ABREAST IN A RAPIDLY
a. The Radiologist. Since medical malpractice cases hinge on an appropriate
standard of care from which the physician has allegedly imparted, it is critical for the
radiologist, as a physician and a specialist, to conform to the standards of care for both
groups. Many courts have established a broader standard of care for specialists,
requiring that the specialist, in effect, adhere to a national standard in the field. To do
this, the radiologist must keep abreast of advances in a rapidly developing field.
Keeping everything current increases the likelihood of avoiding litigation, especially in
missed diagnosis cases. Radiologists not fully trained or experienced in a particular
subspecialty (ultrasonography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging,
nuclear medicine, interventional radiology) would do well to leave the procedure to a
more experienced colleague.
b. The X-ray Technologist. It is equally important for x-ray technologists to
keep up with new developments because both radiologist and radiographer are
providing care in a rapidly changing field. If the radiographer is not fully trained or
experienced in a subspecialty, his or her negligent actions could cause the radiologist
and/or the hospital to be named in a lawsuit. Changes in state licensure requirements
have supported the need for keeping abreast in a changing field. Radiographers are
now required to show evidence of continuing education credits in order to maintain state
licensure. (Twenty-five states have licensure laws. Military radiographers who also
work in the civilian sector must meet these requirements.) A similar requirement is
expected to take effect (in 1993) at the national level in order to maintain the national