Could teleradiology give structured reporting a boost?

The case for structured reporting, where radiologists submit findings according to a standardised template, continues to grow stronger.

In January’s American Journal of Roentgenology, for example, a study on MRI reporting concluded that “all neurologists could understand lesion load significantly more often when reading structured versus non-structured reports.”

The finding adds to a growing body of evidence in favour of structured reporting. Despite this, there is still resistance to adopting structured reporting. As Health Imaging reported last October: “Radiologists may be resistant to change.”

Previous research has suggested technology may be able to help, but implementing a new system purely to force the use of structured reporting is unlikely to be a popular move. One way to increase the use of structured reporting, however, might be through teleradiology services.

These already rely on a high level of standardisation to maximise workflow efficiency. They also have a big incentive to move towards structured reporting because the efficacy of teleradiology readings is closely scrutinised by clients.

A growing use of structured reporting for teleradiology could also help to improve acceptance of standardised reports across the profession at large. Teleradiology won’t be the only factor that helps radiology embrace structured reporting, but at least it could play a significant role.

  • What do you think? Is structured reporting helpful, and can teleradiology help extend its use? Let us know.

 

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