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Quality of the Written Radiology Report: A Review of the Literature.

Summary of "Quality of the Written Radiology Report: A Review of the Literature."


PURPOSE:
A literature review was carried out, guided by the question, What are the important elements of a high-quality radiology written report?
METHODS:
Two papers known to the authors were used as a basis for 5 PubMed search strategies. Exclusion criteria were applied to retrieved citations. Reference lists of retrieved citations were scanned for additional relevant papers and exclusion criteria applied to these. Web sites of professional radiology organizations were scanned for guidelines relating to the written radiology report. Retrieved guidelines were appraised using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation instrument. Methodologies of retrieved papers were not suitable for conventional appraisal, and an evidence table was constructed.
RESULTS:
The search strategy identified 25 published papers and 4 guidelines. Published study methodologies included 1 randomized controlled trial; 1 before-and-after study of interventions; 10 observational studies, audits, or analyses; 12 surveys; and 1 narrative review of the literature.
CONCLUSIONS:
Existing guidelines have a number of weaknesses with regard to scope and purpose, methods of development, stakeholder consultation, and editorial independence and applicability. There is a major gap in published studies relating to testing of interventions to improve report quality using conventional randomized controlled trial methods. Published studies and guidelines generally support report content, including clinical history, examination quality, description of findings, comparison, and diagnosis. Important report attributes include accuracy, clarity, and certainty. There is wide variation in the language used to describe imaging findings and diagnostic certainty. Survey participants strongly preferred reports with structured or itemized formats, but few studies exist regarding the effect of report structure on quality.

Affiliation

Quality Use of Diagnostic Imaging Program, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists, Sydney, Australia.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of the American College of Radiology : JACR
ISSN: 1558-349X
Pages: 634-643

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Published materials which provide an examination of recent or current literature. Review articles can cover a wide range of subject matter at various levels of completeness and comprehensiveness based on analyses of literature that may include research findings. The review may reflect the state of the art. It also includes reviews as a literary form.

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Organizations representing designated geographic areas which have contracts under the PRO program to review the medical necessity, appropriateness, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care received by Medicare beneficiaries. Peer Review Improvement Act, PL 97-248, 1982.

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An organized procedure carried out by a select committee of professionals in evaluating the performance of other professionals in meeting the standards of their specialty. Review by peers is used by editors in the evaluation of articles and other papers submitted for publication. Peer review is used also in the evaluation of grant applications. It is applied also in evaluating the quality of health care provided to patients.

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