Review of radiologist finds 2% error
– A review of a Yorkton, Sask., radiologist who was suspended from work
earlier this year while being reviewed for the quality of his readings
has found that only about 2% of roughly 40,000 examinations he performed
had the potential to negatively affect the patient.
In late November, the Sunrise Health Region released its latest set of
findings on the work of Dr. Darius Tsatsi (pictured), who was one of three
radiologists with privileges at Yorkton Regional Health Centre, about
200 kilometres northeast of Regina.
In May, Dr. Tsatsi agreed to a voluntary suspension while the
Saskatchewan Health Ministry ordered a massive review of his work.
That review is still under way, with 39,711 out of 47,646 radiology
exams having been re-read.
The health region says 946 of those exams – or 2.38% – have
“discordances” that could affect the patient. It didn’t say whether
anyone’s health was affected, only that there was a potential for it to
have been affected.
Another 5,804 (14.6%) were considered “substantially correct with minor
discrepancies.” With the rest, there was no difference of
interpretation. The region didn’t provide any analysis of the numbers or
say what an acceptable problem rate is.
However, other sources say an error rate of 3% to 5% is typical
for radiology readings.
The exams reviewed in Saskatchewan were initially done in the period
from 2007 to 2009. Those that still remain to be reviewed are from 2004
Dr. Tsatsi had worked for the Sunrise Health Region for about five years
when the region and the provincial Ministry of Health announced in May
that a retrospective review had been ordered into more than 69,000
diagnostic images he’d read.
The audit was triggered by the findings of a quality assurance review
conducted by the college last year, which had identified a number of
variances in the interpretation of some of the images.
Posted Dec.10, 2009