By Cynthia E. Keen, staff writer
    November 11, 2011

    Monday, November 28 | 3:40 p.m.-3:50 p.m. | SSE12-05 | Room S402AB
    In this scientific paper presentation, a radiology department describes the extra step it has taken to prioritize the most urgent of "stat" exam requests from its emergency department.

    At Staten Island University Hospital, all imaging exam requests from its emergency department are automatically designated as stat. This protocol, plus the addition of many exams for inpatients labeled stat, can create a long worklist of urgent exams to be read.

    The radiology department has created a "superstat" category for critically ill patients whose conditions require the fastest possible report turnaround times. Such time-sensitive exams include head CT exams for a stroke protocol and exams for pulmonary embolus, aortic dissection, and aortic aneurysm.

    Superstat exams are displayed in gray text in radiologist worklist queues as soon as they are scheduled or are in the process of being performed. Upon completion, they appear at the top of a stat worklist with a flashing heart icon adjacent to them.

    The department analyzed turnaround time results for a six-month period before implementation of the superstat categorization and during its first three months of implementation.

    Small decreases were achieved in three of the four categories. Turnaround time for aortic aneurysm exams decreased from 14 to 10 minutes. Stroke exam turnaround time decreased from seven to six minutes, and for pulmonary embolus exams, it decreased from 10 to nine minutes. However, the turnaround time to report aortic dissections doubled, from six to 12 minutes.

    Dr. Conor Lowry, a radiology resident, will discuss the mixed results.

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