Radiologist draft reports may significantly reduce report production time

When a draft report is available to radiologists, report production time may decrease and workflow efficiency may improve, according to research published online June 18 in Academic Radiology.   

Researchers from the New York Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania monitored radiologists interpreting 358 brain MRIs in an academic setting over nine months. They measured the total time from study opening to report signing, in addition to times for image viewing, report transcription, obtaining clinical data and education. 

The study included attending radiologist, radiology fellows and resident radiologists independently reading studies and attending radiologists over-reading trainee-previewed studies, according to the researchers.

Ten attending radiologists, 12 radiology fellows and 12 resident radiologists spent an average of 11, 18 and 16 minutes, respectively, reading brain MRIs, the researchers wrote. Average duration of reading time among attending radiologists reading independently versus overreading trainees did not differ significantly. 

For image viewing and transcription, radiology fellows and residents spend more time than attending radiologists. 

"Attendings spent the same time on image viewing (4.07 to 5.33 minutes) with or without trainees," wrote lead author Altaib Al Yassin, MD, from the New York Institute of Technology, and colleagues. "Attending transcription time was shortest when over-reading trainees (2.24 minutes) and longest when reading independently (4.20 minutes), demonstrating benefit of the draft report."