Radiographic imaging for traumatic ankle injuries

A demand profile and investigation of radiological reporting timeframes from an Australian tertiary facility

Patrick Eastgate, Rob DAVIDSON, Steven McPhail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Radiographic examinations of the ankle are important in the clinical management of ankle injuries in hospital emergency departments. National (Australian) Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) stipulate that 90 percent of presentations should leave the emergency department within 4 hours. For a radiological report to have clinical usefulness and relevance to clinical teams treating patients with ankle injuries in emergency departments, the report would need to be prepared and available to the clinical team within the NEAT 4 hour timeframe; before the patient has left the emergency department. However, little is known about the demand profile of ankle injuries requiring radiographic examination or time until radiological reports are available for this clinical group in Australian public hospital emergency settings. Methods: This study utilised a prospective cohort of consecutive cases of ankle examinations from patients (n = 437) with suspected traumatic ankle injuries presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary hospital facility. Time stamps from the hospital Picture Archiving and Communication System were used to record the timing of three processing milestones for each patient's radiographic examination; the time of image acquisition, time of a provisional radiological report being made available for viewing by referring clinical teams, and time of final verification of radiological report. Results: Radiological reports and all three time stamps were available for 431 (98.6%) cases and were included in analysis. The total time between image acquisition and final radiological report verification exceeded 4 hours for 404 (92.5%) cases. The peak demand for radiographic examination of ankles was on weekend days, and in the afternoon and evening. The majority of examinations were provisionally reported and verified during weekday daytime shift hours. Conclusions: Provisional or final radiological reports were frequently not available within 4 hours of image acquisition among this sample. Effective and cost-efficient strategies to improve the support provided to referring clinical teams from medical imaging departments may enhance emergency care interventions for people presenting to emergency departments with ankle injuries; particularly those with imaging findings that may be challenging for junior clinical staff to interpret without a definitive radiological report
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Ankle Injuries
Hospital Emergency Service
Ankle
Emergencies
Radiology Information Systems
Public Hospitals
Hospital Departments
Emergency Medical Services
Diagnostic Imaging
Tertiary Care Centers
Costs and Cost Analysis

Cite this

@article{a843929671ce4d69b402801b592442db,
title = "Radiographic imaging for traumatic ankle injuries: A demand profile and investigation of radiological reporting timeframes from an Australian tertiary facility",
abstract = "Background: Radiographic examinations of the ankle are important in the clinical management of ankle injuries in hospital emergency departments. National (Australian) Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) stipulate that 90 percent of presentations should leave the emergency department within 4 hours. For a radiological report to have clinical usefulness and relevance to clinical teams treating patients with ankle injuries in emergency departments, the report would need to be prepared and available to the clinical team within the NEAT 4 hour timeframe; before the patient has left the emergency department. However, little is known about the demand profile of ankle injuries requiring radiographic examination or time until radiological reports are available for this clinical group in Australian public hospital emergency settings. Methods: This study utilised a prospective cohort of consecutive cases of ankle examinations from patients (n = 437) with suspected traumatic ankle injuries presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary hospital facility. Time stamps from the hospital Picture Archiving and Communication System were used to record the timing of three processing milestones for each patient's radiographic examination; the time of image acquisition, time of a provisional radiological report being made available for viewing by referring clinical teams, and time of final verification of radiological report. Results: Radiological reports and all three time stamps were available for 431 (98.6{\%}) cases and were included in analysis. The total time between image acquisition and final radiological report verification exceeded 4 hours for 404 (92.5{\%}) cases. The peak demand for radiographic examination of ankles was on weekend days, and in the afternoon and evening. The majority of examinations were provisionally reported and verified during weekday daytime shift hours. Conclusions: Provisional or final radiological reports were frequently not available within 4 hours of image acquisition among this sample. Effective and cost-efficient strategies to improve the support provided to referring clinical teams from medical imaging departments may enhance emergency care interventions for people presenting to emergency departments with ankle injuries; particularly those with imaging findings that may be challenging for junior clinical staff to interpret without a definitive radiological report",
keywords = "Ankle, Demand, Emergency, Fracture, Orthopaedic, Radiograph, Radiology, Reporting, Trauma, X-ray",
author = "Patrick Eastgate and Rob DAVIDSON and Steven McPhail",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1186/1757-1146-7-25",
language = "English",
volume = "7",
pages = "1--7",
journal = "Journal of Foot and Ankle Research",
issn = "1757-1146",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Radiographic imaging for traumatic ankle injuries

T2 - A demand profile and investigation of radiological reporting timeframes from an Australian tertiary facility

AU - Eastgate, Patrick

AU - DAVIDSON, Rob

AU - McPhail, Steven

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Background: Radiographic examinations of the ankle are important in the clinical management of ankle injuries in hospital emergency departments. National (Australian) Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) stipulate that 90 percent of presentations should leave the emergency department within 4 hours. For a radiological report to have clinical usefulness and relevance to clinical teams treating patients with ankle injuries in emergency departments, the report would need to be prepared and available to the clinical team within the NEAT 4 hour timeframe; before the patient has left the emergency department. However, little is known about the demand profile of ankle injuries requiring radiographic examination or time until radiological reports are available for this clinical group in Australian public hospital emergency settings. Methods: This study utilised a prospective cohort of consecutive cases of ankle examinations from patients (n = 437) with suspected traumatic ankle injuries presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary hospital facility. Time stamps from the hospital Picture Archiving and Communication System were used to record the timing of three processing milestones for each patient's radiographic examination; the time of image acquisition, time of a provisional radiological report being made available for viewing by referring clinical teams, and time of final verification of radiological report. Results: Radiological reports and all three time stamps were available for 431 (98.6%) cases and were included in analysis. The total time between image acquisition and final radiological report verification exceeded 4 hours for 404 (92.5%) cases. The peak demand for radiographic examination of ankles was on weekend days, and in the afternoon and evening. The majority of examinations were provisionally reported and verified during weekday daytime shift hours. Conclusions: Provisional or final radiological reports were frequently not available within 4 hours of image acquisition among this sample. Effective and cost-efficient strategies to improve the support provided to referring clinical teams from medical imaging departments may enhance emergency care interventions for people presenting to emergency departments with ankle injuries; particularly those with imaging findings that may be challenging for junior clinical staff to interpret without a definitive radiological report

AB - Background: Radiographic examinations of the ankle are important in the clinical management of ankle injuries in hospital emergency departments. National (Australian) Emergency Access Targets (NEAT) stipulate that 90 percent of presentations should leave the emergency department within 4 hours. For a radiological report to have clinical usefulness and relevance to clinical teams treating patients with ankle injuries in emergency departments, the report would need to be prepared and available to the clinical team within the NEAT 4 hour timeframe; before the patient has left the emergency department. However, little is known about the demand profile of ankle injuries requiring radiographic examination or time until radiological reports are available for this clinical group in Australian public hospital emergency settings. Methods: This study utilised a prospective cohort of consecutive cases of ankle examinations from patients (n = 437) with suspected traumatic ankle injuries presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary hospital facility. Time stamps from the hospital Picture Archiving and Communication System were used to record the timing of three processing milestones for each patient's radiographic examination; the time of image acquisition, time of a provisional radiological report being made available for viewing by referring clinical teams, and time of final verification of radiological report. Results: Radiological reports and all three time stamps were available for 431 (98.6%) cases and were included in analysis. The total time between image acquisition and final radiological report verification exceeded 4 hours for 404 (92.5%) cases. The peak demand for radiographic examination of ankles was on weekend days, and in the afternoon and evening. The majority of examinations were provisionally reported and verified during weekday daytime shift hours. Conclusions: Provisional or final radiological reports were frequently not available within 4 hours of image acquisition among this sample. Effective and cost-efficient strategies to improve the support provided to referring clinical teams from medical imaging departments may enhance emergency care interventions for people presenting to emergency departments with ankle injuries; particularly those with imaging findings that may be challenging for junior clinical staff to interpret without a definitive radiological report

KW - Ankle

KW - Demand

KW - Emergency

KW - Fracture

KW - Orthopaedic

KW - Radiograph

KW - Radiology

KW - Reporting

KW - Trauma

KW - X-ray

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U2 - 10.1186/1757-1146-7-25

DO - 10.1186/1757-1146-7-25

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 1

EP - 7

JO - Journal of Foot and Ankle Research

JF - Journal of Foot and Ankle Research

SN - 1757-1146

IS - 1

M1 - 25

ER -