Preparing Radiology Reports – Challenges and Solutions

Preparing Radiology ReportsIn today’s healthcare scenario, a huge demand is placed on the radiology specialty – it is required to be better, stronger and faster so that patient care can be optimized. If the specialty is to meet this demand, the most important requirement is the quickest turnaround time possible for radiology reports. The practical way to achieve this is with accurate and speedy radiology transcription from a reliable medical transcription company.

Following are some of the popular scanning technologies used by radiologists and for which reports will have to be prepared:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI
  • Computerised Tomography or CT scan
  • X- Rays
  • Ultrasound

The radiologist interprets the images and dictates reports which are usually transcribed by a transcriptionist within the required turnaround time. Medical transcription of radiology reports is very significant because all details of the patient’s condition are recorded and this serves as information sources in case of any treatment dispute. Radiology reports also document diagnosis, radiation therapy and so on that will help track progress of the patient and enable the radiologist to adjust the treatment.

Radiologists work in many specialty areas including pulmonology, cardiology, orthopedics and immunology. So it follows that transcriptionists working for radiologists must have multi-specialty transcription expertise.

Considering turnaround time for radiology reports, a 2013 Imaging Performance Partnership TAT survey of 86 hospitals, imaging centers, academic medical centers and children’s hospitals found that efficient TAT is ranked among their highest priorities. However, one timeframe may not work for all providers. For much of the industry, one hour is the golden TAT number as many existing studies reveal. Experts hold the opinion that if institutions want to control and manipulate their TAT, performance standards are necessary. The final TAT is impacted by performance measures such as diagnostic accuracy, utilization and the need for special interpretation.

  • Referring physicians feel that achieving quick turnaround time in turn requires that the facility is equipped with an efficient RIS/PACS solution with capabilities such as speech, 3D visualization, intelligent display protocols and other clinical applications.
  • Another important consideration is data mining which would help to identify bottlenecks and measure the effect of all changes implemented.
  • It should be possible to get all radiology reports transcribed accurately within minimum TAT.
  • It is necessary to carefully analyze practice workflow and activities to identify changes that could contribute to lowering turnaround time.

Speech and voice recognition software could also help reduce turnaround time. These tools use templates and auto-populate many fields thereby saving time. The transcript created by the software can be edited by a human transcriptionist to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.