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Acad Radiol. 2007 May;14(5):625-30.

Academic radiology and the emergency department: does it need changing?

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, The University of Michigan Health System, East Medical Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0030, USA. cblane@umich.edu

Abstract

RATIONAL AND OBJECTIVES:

The increasing importance of imaging for both diagnosis and management in patient care has resulted in a demand for radiology services 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, especially in the emergency department (ED). We hypothesized the resident preliminary reports were better than generalist radiology interpretations, although inferior to subspecialty interpretations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Total radiology volume through our Level I pediatric and adult academic trauma ED was obtained from the radiology information system. We conducted a literature search for error and discordant rates between radiologists of varying experience. For a 2-week prospective period, all preliminary reports generated by the residents and final interpretations were collected. Significant changes in the report were tabulated.

RESULTS:

The ED requested 72,886 imaging studies in 2004 (16% of the total radiology department volume). In a 2-week period, 12 of 1929 (0.6%) preliminary reports by residents were discordant to the final subspecialty dictation. In the 15 peer-reviewed publications documenting error rates in radiology, the error rate between American Board of Radiology (ABR)-certified radiologists is greater than that between residents and subspecialists in the literature and in our study. However, the perceived error rate by clinicians outside radiology is significantly higher.

CONCLUSION:

Sixteen percent of the volume of imaging studies comes through the ED. The residents handle off-hours cases with a radiology-detected error rate below the error rate between ABR-certified radiologists. To decrease the perceived clinician-identified error rate, we need to change how academic radiology handles ED cases.

PMID:
17434076
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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