System reduces need for phone consultations

May 1, 2005

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have devised an Internet-based application that serves as an order-entry, reporting, and workflow manager during off-hours.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have devised an Internet-based application that serves as an order-entry, reporting, and workflow manager during off-hours.

The system, which provides an organized environment to obtain radiology consultations, is called 3RADS for the Hopkins radiology on-call pager number. It is documented in the March issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (2005; 184[3]:1017-1020).

3RADS was initially used for overnight radiology workflow management, but its widespread availability and ease of access made it so popular among radiologists and clinicians that the developers expanded the system. It began as a FileMaker database running on a Pentium-based 90-MHz processor with 32 MB of RAM but has been upgraded to a more robust ColdFusion platform with an Access database.

When the system went live in January 2004, radiologists were receiving an average of 35 study requests per night shift, and clinicians were viewing preliminary reports an average of 63 times a day. If only half of the viewed preliminary reports averted a telephone call that month, the night radiologist would have had 66 fewer pages to answer.