RSNA Trendwatch: Structured Reporting

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Call it structured, call it actionable, or call it both -- whatever name you give it, it's undeniable that improving radiology reports is a significant trend at this year's RSNA. Across the show floor, informatics vendors are showcasing new ways to automate the adding of value to reports, and in sessions, speakers are emphasizing the importance of seizing every opportunity to help referrers and improve enterprise outcomes.

At the Medicalis booth, for instance, the company is showcasing improvements to its actionable reporting module that require the interpreting radiologist to provide not just the standard diagnostic information, but also how critical the findings are, whether the finding would be considered positive or negative, what if any follow up should be recommended, and key images to illustrate all of the above.

Similarly, at Carestream, the company is demonstrating Vue Reporting, which allows the radiologist to create a multimedia report with features such as hyperlinks to relevant images and internet-browser style bookmarking of priors. Christine Kao of the company's marketing team characterized the changes to reporting as a transition toward "the report as GPS navigation for the referring physician."

In a session on the role of radiology in the United States' changing health care environment, Dr. Marta Heilbrun demonstrated a similar, but homegrown, solution: Programming macros that will build references to clinical decision support guidelines right into reports, allowing radiologists to effortlessly demonstrate their adherence to these guidelines while also educating referrers.

"We can now report to our referrers that we are doing evidence-based care," Heilbrun said. "This will ensure that radiology benefits in an ACO model."