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Subspecialized radiological reporting reduces radiology report turnaround time

Andreas Otto Josef Zabel, Sebastian Leschka, Simon Wildermuth, Juerg Hodler & Tobias Dietrich

abstract

OBJECTIVES
The objective of this study was to compare the radiology report turnaround time (RTAT) between decentralized/modality-based and centralized/subspecialized radiological reporting at a multi-center radiology enterprise.

METHODS
RTAT values for MRI, CT, and conventional radiography were compared between decentralized/modality-based (04 September 2017-22 December 2017) and centralized/subspecialized radiology (03 September 2018-21 December 2018) reporting grouped into three subspecializations (body radiology, musculoskeletal radiology, and neuroradiology) at eleven sites of a multi-center radiology enterprise. For the objective of this investigation, hospitals were defined as major and minor hospitals. The Mann-Whitney U test served for statistical analyses.

RESULTS
Change of reporting system from decentralized/modality-based to centralized/subspecialized radiology resulted overall in a significant decrease of the RTAT: from 82 to 77 min for the first signature (p < 0.001), and 119 to 107 min and 295 to 238 min for the second signature (p < 0.001). Subgroup analyses demonstrate a significant decrease of the RTAT for MRI reports (e.g., second signature RTAT, 1051 to 401 min; p < 0.001) and conventional radiographs (e. g., second signature RTAT, 278 to 171 min; p < 0.001). The RTAT at major hospitals decreased from 288 to 245 min (second signature; p < 0.001) while the corresponding RTAT of minor hospitals decreased more remarkably, from 300 to 198 min (p < 0.001). However, the results were heterogenous; in some analyses, the RTAT even increased. The effect size analyses represent small effects.

CONCLUSIONS
Change of reporting system from decentralized/modality-based to centralized/subspecialized radiology was associated with a significant decreased RTAT. Specifically, the RTAT for MRI reports and conventional radiographs was significantly reduced. A pronounced RTAT decrease was observed at minor hospitals.
   
citation Zabel A O J, Leschka S, Wildermuth S, Hodler J, Dietrich T. Subspecialized radiological reporting reduces radiology report turnaround time. Insights Imaging 2020; 11:114.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 30-10-2020
journal title Insights Imaging (11/1)
ISSN print 1869-4101
pages 114
PubMed 33123830
DOI 10.1186/s13244-020-00917-z