RSNA: RadLex, Playbook aim to simplify terminology searches

CHICAGO—RadLex, an informatics project sponsored by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), aims to provide a comprehensive lexicon of radiology terms, according to a presentation from the RadLex committee chairman at the RSNA annual meeting.

The goal of the RadLex project is to make it easier to sift through information sources for developers and radiologists working on their own terminology systems, explained Daniel L. Rubin, MD, of Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.

Rubin said the problem with traditional search engines is that they only scan for the terms entered, requiring the user to have to manually enter in all synonymous terms or abbreviations to create the most comprehensive search. “That’s what RadLex is about in terms of searches,” said Rubin. “It’s providing that plumbing to enable you to put in one search term and find the best information.”

Applications for RadLex include structured report assistance, where the computer can read reports as they’re being dictated and suggest a standard term to replace any shorthand or less-used terms. Rubin provided the example of the term spiculations, which could be automatically switched to the more formal term spiculated margins.

Playbook is a specific component of RadLex for radiological procedure names, and it could have a role in quality assurance initiatives, such as dose monitoring, according to Rubin. Organizations that want to compare their dose levels with a registry may find it difficult since facilities have different names for the same procedure. Playbook can automatically match procedure names to facilitate this comparison.

More than 200 facilities using the American College of Radiology’s dose registry have mapped their procedure terms in Playbook, according to Rubin.