E2064. Back to the Basics: Improving MR Image Quality of Rectal Cancer Scanning via Dialogue With Our Technologists
Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Medicine
MRI is the preferred modality in staging and restaging of rectal cancer, and has significant impact in the decision-making of patients with rectal cancer. At our institution, we found that MRI scanning planes through the rectal tumors were often variable, which may render inaccurate staging of rectal cancer. The technologists were not confident in their ability to select appropriate scanning planes and at times fail to follow the radiologist-prescribed scanning planes. The purpose of this study was to improve the MR technologists' general knowledge, and to improve their confidence in acquiring optimal images through dialogue with the radiologists.
Materials and Methods:
A multiple-choice survey questionnaire was sent to our hospital-based MRI technologists via Qualtrics (Provo, UT) prior to an in-person session in 2019. The questions cover a wide variety of topics from years of experience to their comfort level of MR scanning of rectal cancer. A free text comment section was also included. Two months after the initial questionnaire, an abdominal radiologist conducted an educational session with the MRI technologists. A second educational session was held four months later due to significant turnover of technologist staff. Seven technologists responded to the post-intervention questionnaire but two technologists did not attend either sessions. Results were based on the five full-time technologists who participated in pre- and post-intervention questionnaire and attended the two educational sessions.
100% of our technologists had three years or more of work experience. 5-point Likert scale was used to assess the responses from the technologists. Prior to the intervention, 60% of technologists disagreed that they were comfortable in selecting the appropriate scanning planes using the rectal cancer protocol. 20% of technologists agreed and 20% of technologists were neutral to their comfort level in selecting the appropriate scanning planes. After the educational sessions, 100% of the technologists either agreed (80%) or strongly agreed (20%) that they were comfortable using the rectal cancer protocol. After the intervention, the MRI technologists continued to consult with the radiologists in real time while scanning rectal cancer studies to minimize recalls. However, 100% of the technologists either agreed (60%) or strongly agreed (40%) that the education sessions reinforced their general knowledge about MRI scanning of rectal cancer. After the educational sessions, 100% of the technologists agreed that they were comfortable asking for a second opinion from the radiologists with regards to appropriate scanning planes. Subsequent to this endeavor, our multi-hospital enterprise radiology department decided to consolidate and train select number of technologists and radiologists with the goal of optimizing rectal cancer scanning and interpretation.
This study emphasized the fundamental concept of having an open dialogue between MRI technologists and radiologists in acquiring new knowledge, maintaining quality, and improving professional relationships.