The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) has been placed among the top six trusts nationwide in a review of radiology reporting standards in NHS organizations published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Radiology reports are fundamental to diagnosis in medical interventions, and timely reporting is crucial and requires radiologists to analyze and interpret medical images. The radiology department at PAHT processes 20,000 radiology images a month and has been in the forefront of adopting a new system, from Agfa Healthcare, which is being rolled out in the NHS.
New standards were published last year by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) after the CQC identified a lack of national standards in reporting radiology patient examinations. The RCR responded by developing a reporting framework. A range of standards were adopted including that reporting should prompt appropriate care and that the language used should be unambiguous. The result is to speed up diagnosis and treatment.
The CQC has since published reporting figures for trusts. The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust has been placed second in the country place for the proportion of patient images reported within the 24 hours target for inpatient services and in sixth place for the proportion of emergency department (ED) images reported within the four-hour target.
The PAHT radiology teams have worked hard as part of a cohort of early adopters of the software, which was rolled out last year.
Dr Sri Redla, consultant radiologist and associate medical director for cancer, cardiology and clinical support services at the trust said:
Before we implemented the system we would have undoubtedly been ranked in the 20’s for ED and in the teens for inpatients.
The fact that we are now one of the leading organizations for reporting in both ED and inpatients in the country is without a doubt directly proportional to the efficiencies that the Agfa Enterprise Imaging system is bringing combined with our great and proactive staff who continue to see the benefits of using it.The trust is now able to see more patients, more quickly and provide a faster and a highly efficient diagnostic service without compromising on quality.”
Stephen Townrow, Imaging Systems Manager added:
Within just a few months of using the system the Trust has been able to significantly improve patient care. Resources are used effectively to ensure examinations are reported in an appropriate timeframe as recommended by NHS England’s National Review of Radiology Reporting. Using Enterprise Imaging means that we often have reporting completed in real-time, which means zero backlog of images requiring reports.”