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Integrating a reading room with a clinic encourages more interaction between radiologists and clinicians, benefitting patient care.
Integrated reading rooms within clinics may improve the quality of care for patients, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Radiologists and urologists from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City established a radiology reading room within an office-based urologic oncology clinic near the surgeons’ workspace and implemented a study to see if this approach would improve patient care. The authors looked at the frequency and nature of clinician consultations and the perceived impact on patient management.
Researchers recorded the frequency and nature of consultations during these shifts when radiologists were present. Clinic staff completed a survey assessing perceptions of the impact of the integrated reading room on patient management.
There was an average of 1.8 consultations per shift, with the maximum number being eight per shift. Fifty-two percent were for review of external cases brought in by patients on discs, 43 percent for review of internal cases, and 5 percent for direct review by the radiologist of imaging with patients.
Upon review of the system, all the clinic's urologists reported that more than 90 percent of consultations benefited patient care. The availability of the radiologists made it easier for the urologists to request a consult and made it less likely that repeat outside images were requested.
The authors concluded that such a reading room within the clinic had the potential to improve the quality of care by facilitating increased review of outside imaging studies and thereby potentially reducing duplicate ordering and by enabling occasional direct image review with patients by radiologists.