November 14, 2019 --
Workloads for radiologists continue to increase, and burnout rates are rising every year, according to presenter Dr. Jacob Visser, PhD, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. The growing number of tasks performed by radiologists also contributes to the workload problem.
An important radiologist responsibility is to ensure that actionable findings are communicated to referring physicians, Visser told AuntMinnie.com.
The researchers sought to determine the effect on radiologist workload of American College of Radiology (ACR) guidelines for communicating actionable imaging findings to referring physicians. They used a natural language processing algorithm to assess the prevalence of what the ACR considered to be actionable imaging findings on a random sample of 500 radiology reports from their institution.
Of the 500 reports, 149 (29.2%) were deemed to have actionable findings.
"We found that the prevalence of actionable findings as defined by the ACR is rather high; this can for a significant part be explained by the fact that these guidelines qualify all new findings as actionable," Visser said. "Our suggestion is to take the clinical context into account -- e.g., if pneumonia is expected by the referring physician, this finding shouldn't be qualified as an actionable finding."
To delve further into this topic, view this presentation at RSNA 2019.