Dec. 6 – Structured reporting (SR) holds the potential to save valuable dictation time, provide complete and accurate reports, and turnaround reports quickly. It also can be utilized to provide cross-language interpretation, as was demonstrated last week in a scientific presentation at the 93rd annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago.
“SR systems need to be comprehensive to cover all variations which results in complex user interfaces and a time consuming process of reporting,” said Mansoor Fatehi, MD, a radiologist from Tehran, Iran.
Fatehi and his colleagues have developed a graphical user interface to overcome the limitation of complex SR systems and provide a faster workflow through point-and-click methods. In addition, by relying on a predefined structure of data entry and report generation, a radiologist can interpret the image in their own language and view or print the report in multiple languages.
“This interface can serve as a basis for internationalization of radiological interpretation,” Fatehi said.
Fatehi’s group in Iran has developed a detailed, graphical structured reporting tree structure that covers all coronary, graft and cardiac alterations for cardiac CT studies. The tree structure was primarily based on the English language, but Farsi, Italian and German equivalents were also added to database, he said.
The database constructed by the Iranian team consists of three levels: Regions, Blocks and Items; at each level, various graphics are presented allowing the selection of different values. The Regions level consists of diagrams representing coronary circulation (branches, segments, grafts and veins); cardiac chambers and walls through cross-sectional images; pericardial findings; and functional data.
An interpreting physician utilizes the graphical SR system by selecting the appropriate image which provides the best depiction of the region being described, Fatehi said. The variants are described in the language of the interpreting radiologist, who then produces a report in tabular format, which can then be automatically translated into any of the system’s predefined languages, independent of the original interpretation.
“The combination of cross-language capabilities with a graphical user interface may improve the applicability of structured reporting systems,” he said.
Fatehi said that he believes the graphical system he and his colleagues have developed for cardiac CT structured reporting holds the potential to become the method of choice for electronic reporting when deployed as a component in integrated diagnostic workstations, particularly in areas where multiple languages are used to report the interpretation of diagnostic images.