Minimizing misdiagnosis with a simple patient photo

When a patient in Illinois sustains an injury or complications due to a doctor’s mistake, it may be considered medical malpractice. Often, a Chicago medical malpractice case may occur from failure to diagnose, surgical errors or wrong medication. However, the wrong interpretation of an X-ray result can also be a threat to the patient’s health.

Illinois readers already know that X-ray images are often similar, which is why some radiologists misinterpret the results and lead to the wrong diagnosis of the patient. As a result, a researcher from Emory University conducted a study to reduce radiologists’ wrong-patient errors.

Consequently, 10 radiologists took part in the study and interpreted 20 pairs of X-ray images. The radiologists were not informed that they could use the patient’s photographs. Some of the images had a photo of the patient while others did not. Mismatched pairs of X-ray images and patient’s photos were also included. After the study, radiologists detected 64 percent of the mismatched pairs when photos were added. When the images did not include photos, the radiologists’ error detection rate was only 13 percent.

A second study was conducted with five radiologists. In the second study, the researchers told the radiologists that they could use the photographs to correctly match the radiographic images. The second study resulted in an error detection rate of 94 percent, which is higher than the first study. In conclusion, the patient’s photos can help radiologists make the correct diagnosis for the correct patient.

The study results may show that radiologists make mistakes while they are evaluating the patient’s X-ray results, which can lead to a wrong diagnosis or the wrong patient. Either way, errors involving X-ray images can result in complications. If this occurs, a patient can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the radiologist.

Medical malpractice claims can help the victim, particularly the patient who has suffered with complications due to a doctor’s error or negligence. This claim may also entitle the patient to compensation that can pay for medical costs, loss of income and emotional distress. If the medical error results in a fatality, the victim’s family may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source:, “New study finds that adding photo of patients to x-ray images can reduce wrong-patient errors,” April 16, 2013