1372. Reducing Radiologists’ Interruptions and Report Turnaround Time with an Automatic Examination Assignment
Authors * Denotes Presenting Author
  1. Wyanne Law *; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  2. Admir Terzic; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  3. Joshua Chaim; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  4. Hedvig Hricak; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  5. Hebert Vargas; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  6. Anton Becker; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Workflow interruptions from various sources, including phone calls and emails for wet-read requests, remain a major factor of workplace-related stress and radiologist burnout (1). On the patient’s side, long waiting times are a dominant driver of dissatisfaction (2). To address both of these problems, we custom-built a radiology automatic assignment software. The objectives of this study were to evaluate any changes in wet-read requests (WR) with this intervention, turnaround times (TAT) for reports, and patient waiting times (WT).

Materials and Methods:
The software was integrated with the hospital-wide scheduling system to prioritize studies with an upcoming clinical appointment in June 2020. Total number of CT examinations and requests for WR, time stamps “examination completed” and “report signed”, and TAT and WT from our gynecology department outpatient clinics, were obtained after implementation from July 2020 to June 2021 and as a historical control between April 2019 and March 2020 (12 months, n=261 workdays). For WR, mean (±standard deviation), 95th quantile and total sum were calculated. Means were compared with a two-tailed Student’s t-test. For TAT and WT, a propensity score matched control cohort between patients who had (study group) and did not have (control) a scheduled appointment with the referring physician in the following 24 hours was used to account for any differences in clinical operations before and after the start of the intervention.

Total number of CT examinations analyzed was 232 022. The mean number of daily WR significantly decreased by 56.0% (25 ± 12 to 11 ± 6, p<0.001) despite increased CT volume (331 ± 180 to 346 ± 186, p=0.013). WR during peak days (95th quantile) decreased by 52.2% from 46 to 22. Total WR in the 12 months before and after the intervention were 6345 and 2717, respectively. Mean TAT significantly decreased by 10 minutes (from 64 to 54, p<0.001), compared to only 4 minutes in the control cohort (from 118 to 114, p<0.001). Although WT decreased overall, there was no difference to the matched control cohort.

Integrating automatic examination assignment with hospital scheduling decreased the number of wet read requests and turnaround time for reports, without negatively affecting patient waiting times.