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Safety in Radiology. UCSF Medical Center. Safety in Radiology. National Patient Safety Goals are important Protect our staff and our patients Safety Committee self identifies risks Prevent needle related injuries Administer medications safely Ensure quality of care in Radiology.

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safety in radiology

Safety in Radiology

UCSF Medical Center

safety in radiology2
Safety in Radiology

National Patient Safety Goals are important

  • Protect our staff and our patients
  • Safety Committee self identifies risks
  • Prevent needle related injuries
  • Administer medications safely
  • Ensure quality of care in Radiology
general hand hygiene
General Hand Hygiene
  • Handwashing with either an antimicrobial or plain soap and water, or use of an antiseptic hand rub
  • Wash for 10 seconds
  • Before and after patient contact
  • Before and after performing invasive procedures
surgical hand antiseptic
Surgical Hand Antiseptic
  • Performed before donning sterile attire preoperatively
  • Antiseptic hand prep with brushless waterless alcohol based product in IR/NIR
personal protective equipment
Personal Protective Equipment
  • Gloves – practice task oriented glove use
  • Gowns – moisture resistant, sterile from chest to table level, back is not considered sterile
  • Face protection – prevents exposure by using masks, goggles or a face shield
needle safety
Needle Safety
  • Do Not recap needles for later use!
  • Do not slip sharps under the tray, covered by towel, or left exposed on the table.
  • All needles and other sharp instruments should be disposed of directly into a needle container after use.
safety devices
Safety Devices
  • Safety shield locks in place to prevent needle injury
safety iv devices
Safety IV devices

Retractable needle

Avoid the risk of

injury while securing

IV line

sharps containers
Sharps Containers
  • Position container for direct disposal while maintaining sterile technique.
  • Emptied routinely when 2/3 full
if exposure occurs
If Exposure Occurs

If splash with blood or body fluid should occur, wash the exposed skin with soap and water, and profusely flush exposed mucous membranes with water.

Contact the infectious disease “HOT LINE” at 719-3898

Patient history should be reviewed. Patient permission for hepatitis and HIV serostatus is necessary.

radiologists in dark rooms
Radiologists in dark rooms
  • Radiologists need to be in compliance with needle safety precautions!
  • 800,000 needlesticks occur annually in the United States
  • The risk of HIV infection with a single sharp injury is 0.3%
  • 99.7% of exposures will not result in infection
medication labeling
Medication Labeling
  • Proper medication labeling prevents med errors and adequate communication between health care workers
  • 2007 JACHO requirement
when do we label medications
WHEN do we label medications?
  • Any time medications are prepared but are not administered immediately
  • Anytime medications are transferred from the original packaging to another container
  • Pre-labeling of containers is not acceptable.
how should we label medications
HOW should we label medications ?


  • EXPIRATION DATE when not used within 24 hours
medication labeling15
Medication Labeling
  • 1.WHAT should we label?

All Medications, including:

  • vSterile Water
  • vNormal Saline
  • vContrast dyes
  • vHeparin
  • vLidocaine
medication label verification
Medication Label Verification
  • All labels are verified both verbally and visually by 2 qualified individuals when the person preparing the medication is not the person administering the medication.
maintenance of original containers
Maintenance of Original Containers
  • All original containers from medications or solutions remain available for reference until the conclusion of the procedure.
medication management
Medication Management
  • Do NOT use Abbreviations includes:


MS, MS04, MGS04,

trailing zero (1.0), lack of leading zero (.1)

administering contrast
Administering Contrast
  • Contrast is now considered a medication
  • Check for Allergy or contraindications
  • Don’t forget the Patient Rights:

right patient, two identifiers

right drug

right dose

right route

high risk medications
High Risk Medications

High risk medications are defined as medications that bear a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when they are used in error.

Narcotics Neuromuscular blocking

Insulin Anticoagulants- Heparin

Chemo Conc Electrolytes

high risk medications22
High Risk Medications

What safeguards do we have in place?

  • Independent Double check before administration
  • Standardized drug concentrations
  • Preprinted order forms
  • Proper labeling/packaging
2 independent checks
2 Independent Checks
  • Mistakes happen even when doing our best.
  • It‘s not intended to question the practitioner’s skills or competence. Rather, it is to acknowledge the high risk and complexity of the work and the fact that every practitioner is only human and therefore fallible.
  • Research has shown that ~95% of mistakes are found when someone’s work is checked by others.
administering medications
Administering medications
  • Bring order to obtain medications from nurses who have access to the medication Pyxis machine. MD must indicate medication allergies on the form.
  • Obtain medication, compare, and confirm the drug, dose, time, and route against the MD’s order.

Verify the five rights.

administering medication
Administering Medication
  • Visually examine the medication for stability, expiration date, and tampering.
  • Keep medication in the original wrapper or container or label according to policy until administered.
  • If interrupted or distracted while completing this process, repeat the above steps.
administering medication28
Administering Medication
  • Use aseptic technique when preparing all parenteral medications.
  • Correctly identify the patient using two-patient identifiers.
  • Educate the patient and/or family as appropriate about the purpose of the drug
communication bet caregivers
Communication bet caregivers
  • Some medication drips cannot be interrupted.
  • This would be a medication error requiring communication to MD and an incident report.
  • Communication between the patient’s caregivers is critical to ensure patient safety.
effective communications
Effective Communications
  • Communicate your plan of care to the patient’s nurse.
  • The nurse communicates special precautions to you regarding the care of the patient
  • Opportunity to ask and answer questions
  • Communicate before and after care
falls prevention
Falls Prevention
  • All patients, whether identified as being at risk for falls or not, must have the following safety precautions taken:
    • Orient patient to environment.
    • Gurney in low position when patient is unattended, brakes on.
    • Determine safest position for siderails.
falls prevention33
Falls Prevention
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc, accessible to patient.
  • Assistive devices (e.g.walker, crutches, etc.) within easy reach, if appropriate.
  • Fitted, non-slip, non-skid footwear.
  • Environment clear of hazards.
  • Evaluation of medications that predispose patient to falls.
  • Educate patient and family regarding fall prevention strategies.
falls prevention34
Falls Prevention

From the policy, ”Do not leave a patient who is at risk for falling unattended on a commode or in the bathroom.”

falls categories
  • Anticipated physiological/intrinsic: patient diagnosis or characteristics that may predict patient’s likelihood of falling.
  • Unanticipated physiological/intrinsic: unpredictable if no previous history is present and no risk factors identified from assessment.
  • Extrinsic/Accidental: environmental risk factors.
assessing for falls risk
  • Mobility- use assistive devices, weakness, dizziness, poor balance
  • Mentation- alter level of consciousness
  • Elimination- frequency and urgency
  • History of Falls-fallen in the past year
  • Current Medications- analgesics, diuretics,
falls prevention37
Falls Prevention
  • Identify the patient's risk status by:

Placing a yellow arm band on patient’s wrist

  • Yellow slippers if ambulatory, bedrest is not falls prevention




In IR procedures

For Biopsies


For pain control

In Radiology

  • The physician will have primary responsibility for the patient requiring sedation.
  • All sedation shall be ordered and supervised by the physician privileged for the specific procedure and the administration of sedation and analgesia.
patient identification

Patient Identification

What’s the Problem?

Images misidentified and sent to PACS

how many are wrong
How many are wrong?

One is too many!

identification issues are tracked



ID band issue



Acc No. issue



Image ID issue



Identification issues are tracked


what is the cause of errors
What is the cause of errors?
  • Not checking the patient’s ID band, DOB
  • Tech selects wrong accession number
  • Tech begins multiple accession numbers Tech scans on prior patient, wrong name!
  • Not doing time out at the computer console
what can we do to prevent errors
What can we do to prevent errors?
  • Use proper two patient identification techniques for patient and image identification.
  • Do a time out and double check the images before sending to PACS.
  • Check patient ID “two times every time at two locations”
medication reconciliation
Medication Reconciliation
  • A complete list of patients’ current medications is obtained
  • Patient allergies are verified
  • The list is reviewed by MD prior to contrast or medication administration
  • Communication of medication changes is provided to next caregiver
hand off communications
Hand-off communications
  • Interactive, allowing the opportunity for questioning between the giver and the receiver of patient information.
  • Includes communications between:

Radiologists, fellows, residents,

RNs, technologists, Hospital Assistants,

floor nurses.