Radiology Report Turn-Around-Time Could Use Standardization

October 2, 2017

Standardizing report turn around times could increase productivity in radiology.

Standardizing report-turn-around-time (RTAT) may increase productivity, communication, and value among radiologists, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, performed a retrospective analysis of data to systemically quantify noninterpretive tasks (NITs) and their impact on RTAT during solo academic neuroradiology overnight coverage in the emergency department.

The researchers analyzed one week of data, 63 hours of overnight radiology coverage, which included:

• Phone call quantity

• Phone call duration

• Clinician identification badge access to the reading room

• Suspected acute strokes

• Imaging examination volume

• Emergency department patient volume

The results showed:

• Mean number of 8.7 phone calls per hour

• Mean duration of 12 minutes per phone call per hour

• Mean number of 12.1 badge swipes per hour

• Mean number of 2.2 examinations (CT and MRI) performed per hour

The regression analyses found total duration of phone calls in an hour as the strongest independent predictor of RTAT and the overall multivariate model was also significant.

The researchers concluded for every 1-minute increase in total duration of calls in an hour, mean RTAT increased by 4.25 minutes, and standardizing capture of NITs may aid development of strategies that address productivity, communication, and value in radiology.