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Quantifying the Effects of Structured Reporting on Report Turnaround Times and Proofreading Workload in Neuroradiology

      Rationale and Objectives

      To assess the effects of a change from free text reporting to structured reporting on resident reports, the proofreading workload and report turnaround times in the neuroradiology daily routine.

      Materials and Methods

      Our neuroradiology section introduced structured reporting templates in July 2019. Reports dictated by residents during dayshifts from January 2019 to March 2020 were retrospectively assessed using quantitative parameters from report comparison. Through automatic analysis of text-string differences between report states (i.e. draft, preliminary and final report), Jaccard similarities and edit distances of reports following read-out sessions as well as after report sign-off were calculated. Furthermore, turnaround times until preliminary and final report availability to clinicians were investigated. Parameters were visualized as trending line graphs and statistically compared between reporting standards.

      Results

      Three thousand five hundred thirty-eight reports were included into analysis. Mean Jaccard similarity of resident drafts and staff-reviewed final reports increased from 0.53 ± 0.37 to 0.79 ± 0.22 after the introduction of structured reporting (p < .001). Both mean overall edits on draft reports by residents following read-out sessions (0.30 ± 0.45 vs. 0.09 ± 0.29; p < .001) and by staff radiologists during report sign-off (0.17 ± 0.28 vs. 0.12 ± 0.23, p < .001) decreased. With structured reporting, mean turnaround time until preliminary report availability to clinicians decreased by 20.7 minutes (246.9 ± 207.0 vs. 226.2 ± 224.9; p < .001). Similarly, final reports were available 35.0 minutes faster on average (558.05 ± 15.1 vs. 523.0 ± 497.3; p = .002).

      Conclusion

      Structured reporting is beneficial in the neuroradiology daily routine, as resident drafts require fewer edits in the report review process. This reduction in proofreading workload is likely responsible for lower report turnaround times.

      Key Words

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