Mouse Clicks: Higher Number Means Slower Turnaround Time

June 29, 2020

Radiologists who use more mouse clicks to process radiographs have higher turnaround times.

Turnaround times are slower for radiologists who use more mouse clicks to work through radiographs, according to new research presented at SIIM2020, highlighting the need for PACS efficiency training.

In recent years, there has been a simultaneous push for providers to process more studies while also decreasing the amount of time it takes for them to successfully complete their radiology reports. Consequently, said investigators from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, it is becoming increasingly important for all providers to use their PACS system effectively and efficiently.

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To see whether radiologists need a different number of mouse clicks to process a study – and whether that number correlates to turnaround time – the team observed six providers over a four-week period. They determined their hypothesis was correct.

“There is a wide variation in the number of mouse-clicks radiologists used to read studies,” the researchers said. “The average number of clicks correlates with the average time required to read the study.”

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During the study, they observed workflow when participating radiologists dictated five-to-10 radiographs in succession. They collected data either through direct observations or with a mouse-click counting application on several factors:

  • Overall number of mouse clicks
  • Overall number of clicks specifically occurring within the PACS application
  • Number of distinct images for each imaging study
  • Type of radiograph
  • Time required to dictate each study

Their analysis confirmed their hypothesis – radiologists who used more clicks took longer to read radiographs. For each radiologist’s turnaround time, the one-way ANOVA to determine significance produced a 0.095 p-value.

RadiologistOverall study clickOverall study time (min)Clicks per studyClicks per study in PACSMean study turnaround time (min)
12091530233
22162043285
3424861
46851461
5112151993
6101112073

These result will be used to create improvement projects that will help radiologists learn to use PACS more efficiently.

For more coverage of SIIM2020, click here.