Innovations like the large language model (LLM) ChatGPT passing Radiology Board Exams are reshaping industries. However, Imorgon’s research finds that many Radiologists are not fully utilizing reporting automation tools today. Automation tools in ultrasound reporting software transfer measurements and findings from imaging modalities into a reporting package, resulting in fundamental improvements in reporting efficiency, accuracy, and quality. It seems an easy argument that we should capture “easy” benefits today [MSR White Paper].
By raising awareness of the benefits and addressing concerns or barriers to adoption, reporting automation tools can be promoted to improve the content and clarity of more radiology reports. To this end, common Reporting Automation topics are discussed below.
Structured Reporting and Ultrasound Reporting Software
A good starting point for a discussion regarding Reporting Automation is Structured Reporting since both focus on improving Radiology Reporting. Structured Reporting is an approach to creating reports in a predefined format with standardized terminology and checklists. Many institutions are adopting Structured Reporting to improve report content, clarity, and efficiency [AJR Link]. Studies show the benefits of Structured Reporting in improving clinical outcomes, including reducing missed diagnoses [Link].
Ultrasound reporting software, such as Imorgon Medical reporting software, automatically transfers data directly into Radiology reporting software, leading to significant productivity and quality benefits not seen in Structured Reporting efforts. The stated reason for neglecting this opportunity centers around perceptions of implementation difficulty. Companies such as Imorgon Medical bring experience and guarantee success in a reporting automation effort. Implementing ultrasound reporting software and automatic data transfer yields a Return on Investment (ROI) of just a few months! The following paragraphs discuss some technical topics related to the implementation of reporting automation.
The most common reporting automation tool in radiology is measurement transfer from the imaging modality to the reporting package, with ultrasound and DEXA being the most common modalities. Measurements are transferred from the imaging modality to the reporting system using DICOM Structured Reporting (DICOM SR). Companies such as Imorgon have developed products that consume the DICOM SR file and transfer it into the reporting package, typically Nuance Powerscribe. Some institutions reduce tedious and error-prone numeric dictation by transferring thousands of measurements daily. Documented studies discuss median reporting time reductions of 40% in measurement-intensive reports such as OB [Dr Horii SIIM Presentation].
Ultrasound Worksheets and Ultrasound Reporting Software
A more advanced reporting automation strategy is transferring sonographer findings from worksheets and templates into Radiology reporting software. Hundreds of publications and articles guide what constitutes a good ultrasound report. Many studies report positive outcomes using standardized ultrasound report templates, including a reduction in the use of CT [Link]. With tools like Imorgon’s, ALL sonographers can directly provide obvious, concise, and consistent observations into the reporting package. This article discusses advanced strategies for transferring sonographer findings in ultrasound worksheets directly into radiology reporting software [Link].
Recent research discusses the importance of implementing measurement transfer and electronic worksheet observations [Link]. The research found that, depending on the exam, approximately half of the ‘fields’ in the Findings section of a Radiology report are sonographer observations. Stated another way, if only measurement transfer is implemented, 50% of the productivity opportunity is missed.
Reporting Automation Future and Ultrasound Reporting Software
Looking to the future, there are a couple of Reporting Automation directions. The newest area of attention has been the large language models and their potential impact on generating Impressions. It will be exciting to see these developments. Another initiative is the development of Common Data Elements [Link], which aims to standardize and increase the clinical content of transferred information, facilitate data extraction, and improve decision support tools. Implementing a standardized report content process today can enable content-generating AI to be more consistent, leading to the development of better tools.
Report Automation tools, such as those developed by Imorgon, complement these innovations by providing more consistent and standardized input. Adopting ultrasound reporting tools in Radiology improves reporting productivity and quality today and every day. Ultrasound reporting software will also complement other reporting automation efforts in the future.