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Comparison of reporting radiographers' and medical doctors' performance in reporting radiographs of the appendicular skeleton, referred by the emergency department

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INTRODUCTION: There is an increasing trend towards deploying reporting radiographers in Danish hospitals who, among various professional groups, interpret and report skeletal radiographs from the emergency department (ED). This study aimed to compare the quality of the reports issued by reporting radiographers to three different groups of medical doctors (MDs) who interpret or report skeletal radiographs at the ED.

METHODS: Four professional groups (i.e. four reporting radiographers, two radiology trainees, two orthopaedic senior trainees, and two orthopaedic trainees) reported 100 radiographs of the appendicular skeleton. The Consequence of clinical Outcome score (CO-score), accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of each group were compared. The relative risk of a false-negative, false-positive or wrong result, the risk of a serious error, as well as the odds ratio of a more severe CO-score for each of the three MD groups, were compared to the reporting radiographers.

RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the groups in reference to the CO-score (P ≤ 0.001), accuracy (P = .003), specificity (P = .022), and in the proportion of serious errors (P ≤ 0.001). Compared to the reporting radiographers, all three groups of MDs showed a significantly higher CO-score and a significantly increased risk of a wrong result. Moreover, two of the MD groups showed a significantly increased risk of a false-positive result and for severe errors.

CONCLUSION: Based on the CO-score, the relative risk of errors, which could potentially cause malpractice in treatment and patient recall, significantly decreased when the reports were completed by reporting radiographers.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: To explore the need for a 24-h radiographer reporting service to the EDs, an upscaled study, like the current, with more participants representing the professional groups is highly recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiography (London, England : 1995)
Volume27
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1099-1104
Number of pages6
ISSN1078-8174
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The College of Radiographers

Copyright:
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Immediate reporting, Patient outcome, Radiographer reporting, Skeletal radiology

ID: 65655565