CARG - the leading provider of teleradiology services has now made imaging reporting convenient thereby increasing the efficiencies of the radiology practices. Our services enable clear, accurate, easy-to-understand and appropriately thorough reporting. Hospitals, diagnostic centers and radiology groups across geographies who have partnered with CARG, are finding our model to be a winning strategy for them with access to exceptional subspecialty radiologists. CARG has enabled our clients with optimal radiology coverage, improved patient care, reduced costs and increased efficiencies. CARG’s full spectrum of reporting services includes pre-reads, final reads, subspecialty reads, locum services, night-hawk services, emergency, quality assurance services and peer reviews.
In a recently published report of Bruno et al (2014), the authors have highlighted the significance of impact of accessibility for a radiologist in order to avoid technical lingo. Today, the complexity of medical imaging has increased dramatically, providing radiologists with an ever-larger number of images to interpret and more imaging modalities to compare.
Need of Structured Reporting
Medical imaging is uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in a patient’s journey, from early detection as part of screening till treatment and cure. Imaging studies are often an integral part of a patient’s evaluation, and these reports become a permanent part of the medical record and are often consulted for patient management. Therefore, their completeness and effectiveness are critical. A radiologist’s official report study is a proprietary communications between radiologists and referring physician. The end product of an imaging examination - the report provides the information needed for optimum patient management. However, given the growing complexity of the information radiologists are charged with interpreting, it is worth considering whether greater standardization could result in better communication, more-complete reports, and fewer misdiagnoses.
Thumbs up to Structured Reporting in comparison with conventional free text
Lawrence H. Schwartz, MD, and co-authors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, N.Y. conducted a study in 2011 to evaluate the differences between structured reporting and conventional reporting.
The study included 11 physicians who made use of conventional and structured reporting. The group included 6 radiologists, 3 surgeons and 2 oncologists, each of whom read 15 conventional and 15 structured reports (no physicians read the same reports) on body CT scans.
The authors assessed the differences in content and clarity as reported by these physicians. Conventional reports earned a mean content satisfaction rating of 7.61 out of 10, which was significantly lower than the 8.33 score tacked onto structured reports. Structured reports likewise significantly outscored conventional ones in clarity, receiving a mean score of 8.25, compared with 7.45 for conventional reports.
Structured reports also received a total of 90 perfect scores for content and clarity, vs. 28 for conventional reports. Conventional reports earned poor scores for clarity and content than did structured reports. Non-radiologists expressed greater satisfaction with structured reports. In the study, physicians displayed significantly greater satisfaction with the content and clarity of structured reports than with the content and clarity of conventional reports.
Structured reporting makes the evaluation of quality indicators for both radiologic studies and reports much easier, since individual elements measuring quality are more easily defined in a structured report. Thus for a better communication, more-complete reports and fewer misdiagnoses structured reporting with greater standardization is worth considering. Now more radiology practising groups are shifting towards structured reporting systems.
CARG’s Standardized Structured Reporting
CARG’s standardization of reporting in radiology has been proposed to increase quality, in part since our structured reporting templates, when used as checklists, helps convert what is largely an intuitive cognitive process into a more rational cognitive process.
Structured reporting at CARG aims to standardize the format and lexicon used in reports, which improves the communication of findings allowing ease of reading and comprehension while facilitating a case review with much focused attention and analysis. CARG has a unique 3 tier system of reporting which includes indication and impression followed by itemized reporting and true structured reporting respectively. Following a structured template for reporting helps keep consistency in reporting procedure. Structured reporting also offers many benefits like decreased ambiguity and enhanced opportunities for research, clinical decision support and quality improvement.
Quality control system at CARG has evolved after rigorous trails of various tried and tested methods. This has enabled us to implement new processes, workflows, and structures within the hospital. We can help organizations achieve highest quality standards through our Quality Assurance Services that includes external audits and peer reviews.
CARG maintains quality assurance of reporting services in the form of prereads, second reads and final reads with 97% accuracy through harmonized workflow guided under various parameters to check every aspect. Subspecialty reads at CARG offer highest levels of quality standards in providing expert opinion facilitating diagnosis. The structured reporting service at CARG provides a careful review of diagnostic accuracy and outcomes including standardized results of both normal and abnormal cases during the interpretation and comparison of imaging studies.
Audits or self-assessments are designed to familiarize staff with general auditing technology, and help employees identify their strengths as well as weaknesses most in need of urgent improvement. Audits also ensure that internal experts recognize the weaknesses and improvement possibilities in their longstanding and routine practices. CARG follows a controlled radiology auditing system, which identifies the discrepancies and provide sufficient information for specific process improvement. Radiology auditing ensures satisfaction with content accuracy and clarity of reporting, solidifying the fact that teleradiology auditing at CARG is remarkable. Our audit protocols help with challenges of audit, revalidation, and accreditation. With top-notch reporting and relaying services, we can help you through accreditation process.
McCreadie G and Oliver TB(2009). Eight CT lessons that we learned the hard way : An analysis of current patterns of radiological error and dispcrepancy with particualt emphasis on CT. Clinical Radiology 64; (5): 491- 499