The radiological report is a communication tool for the referring physician and the patients. It is a central part of patient management, it influences diagnosis and treatment decisions, and forms the basis for medical compensation.
Initially the radiology report was conceived as a free text report (FTR) to allow radiologists to have their own individuality in the description of the radiological findings. However, such a form was time consuming and could suffer from content and presentation discrepancies, with a probability of transferring incorrect radiological data. Quality, datafication/quantification, and accessibility represent the three main goals in moving from FTRs to structured reports (SRs). Moreover, a “structured” checklist, allows all the fundamental items for a particular radiological study to be reported and permits the connection of the radiological data with clinical features, allowing for personalized medicine.
Today advanced image acquisition software allows structured reporting while creating value-based radiology.
Cutting-edge imaging diagnostic software with advanced algorithms, provides the practitioner with image manipulation, measurement and annotation tools that can help in the analysis, interpretation, and diagnosis. Using the software to do all the measurements, and having it compare those measurements with those of prior exams, is the absolute key to structured reporting. Results can then be transferred and integrated into electronic patient files. Benefits include: the avoidance of dictation errors, output of concise and multimedia-enhanced reports, and better support for treatment decisions.
Some acquisition software even come standard with more added value features like Image Stitching, DICOM Modality Worklist, Procedure Code Matching, DICOM Print, and CD Burning.
Using advanced image acquisition software as a tool for reporting, reduces the workflow substantially. Thanks to this technology, spending long working hours preparing reports is a thing of the past! This innovative software allows for the creation of structured reports in less time, allowing radiologists faster workflows and hence higher compensation per work day. As they say, time is money.
Some acquisition software can be further expanded with PACS and with Cloud PACS.
PACS allows for viewing on other computers adding further medical specialty tools including Orthopedics, Podiatry, and Chiropractic. Cloud PACS expands the access to images to anywhere you can connect to the internet and allows for easy sharing amongst doctors and patients anywhere in the world.
As stated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment act, and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health act: “the best medical practice should be based on structured data, in order to improve patient clinical outcomes”.