A practical system that enables physicians to respond expeditiously to significant unexpected findings (SUFs) in radiological reports

Tomoyuki Noguchi, Kumi Tanaka, Yasushi Okada, Kunitaka Fukuizumi, Sachiyo Yokoda, Motoko Dairiki, Koji Yamashita, Seitaro Shin, Noriaki Wada, Shino Harada, Shigeki Morita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To demonstrate effectiveness of our present radiological report check flowchart enabling physicians to respond to significant unexpected findings (SUFs), by comparing the response periods from the examination date to the action date on untreated SUFs between the previous and present versions of our flowchart. Methods: In the flowchart’s previous version used February–October 2019, SUFs, which were notified by email, were audited every month. The physician received a phone call and was asked to act on the untreated SUF. In the flowchart’s present version used from November 2019 to May 2020, SUFs were audited every 2 weeks. The physician and his/her chief were asked to return a written response to the untreated SUF. We evaluated the difference in the response periods between the previous and present versions of the flowchart. Results: With the previous flowchart’s use, untreated SUFs were 43 of 229 SUFs (18.8%) with the present flowchart untreated SUFs were 22 of 130 SUFs (16.9%). All SUFs in both periods were eventually responded. The present flowchart (median/range, 25/11–70 days) significantly had shorter response periods than the previous flowchart (70/16–290 days) (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: The present flowchart employing a shortened primary audit interval, a written response, and the department chief’s intervention, helped reduce the response periods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-432
Number of pages9
JournalJapanese Journal of Radiology
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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