The Effect of Teleradiology on Interpretation Times for CT Pulmonary Angiography Studies
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a teleradiology service on
the timely interpretation of computed tomography (CT) pulmonary angiography studies.
A survey of clinical and imaging physicians was performed to develop achievable
goals for interpretation of CT pulmonary angiography studies. Percentages of studies
given preliminary written reports within these thresholds were compared for 1,102
pulmonary angiography CT studies from three months before teleradiology was
implemented to three months after. Identical control data were matched over the same
periods for 1,638 CT brain studies. Data are reported as averages and percentages.
Statistical significance was evaluated with two-tailed t-tests.
The median of the optimal time for the preliminary written interpretation of a
pulmonary angiography CT reported by radiology chairs or their designees was 60
minutes versus 20 minutes for emergency medicine physicians, who also reported a 40-
minute limit for an acceptable interpretation time. There were statistically significant
improvements in the percentage of these studies interpreted within 60-minute (51 percent
to 62 percent) and 20-minute (nine percent to thirteen percent) optimal time thresholds,
within the 40-minute acceptable time threshold (34 percent to 43 percent), and in the
percentage of studies taking greater than 40 minutes (67 percent to 57 percent). No
statistically significant improvement occurred with control CT brain studies.
The use of teleradiology to interpret off-hours inpatient imaging can improve
imaging study interpretation times. By establishing an agreed-upon time standard for
preliminary written reports of such exams, radiologists and treating physicians can
collaborate to ensure prompt diagnosis and treatment of potentially lethal illnesses, such
as pulmonary embolism.
School Location:USA - Connecticut
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:utilization magnetic resonance imaging tomography x ray computed humans angiography teleradiology
Date of Publication:04/12/2009