Monday, May 02, 2011

Communicating Critical and/or Discrepant Results for Radiology Department

This has been defined as Notification of the patient’s doctor when the radiologist determines that an imaging study has new and unexpected findings that could result in mortality or significant morbidity. This is in accordance with ACR guidelines.

Accordingly we also need to develop similar alert systems and communication system for the referring physicians in India as well, many a times we have seen delay in communication to the referring doctor results in serious problems for the physician. It is high time that even in India radiologist training incorporates this and trains radiologists for not only reporting the cases but makes them aware of their responsibility to communicate this as well.

We have now included sms alert to referring physician in our teleradiology service as well and we are the first one in the country to introduce this as value addition in patient care objective.

According to Brigham Radiology, successful communication should occur within the following timelines, which depend on the urgency level of the findings:

1. Red alert (new/unexpected findings that are potentially immediately life-threatening): 60 minutes

2. Orange alert (new/unexpected findings that could result in mortality or significant morbidity if not appropriately treated) 3 hours

3. Yellow alert (new/unexpected findings that could result in mortality or significant morbidity if not appropriately treated, but are not immediately life-threatening or urgent): 15 days


Reference and Details on-


1 comment:

Noose said...

As I am working in a Joint Commision monitored environment I can see how these Alert categories are valid.

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