The Reading Room

Sneak peek: See how your ED turnaround times compare nationally

by Solomon Banjo

Referring physicians and hospital leaders have long used imaging turnaround times (TAT) as a bellwether of the operational performance of an imaging department or facility. We periodically survey our members to provide national benchmarks for outpatient, inpatient and emergency department TAT performance. This year’s survey closes Friday, March 4, and we need your data to help us provide you with the most accurate benchmarks possible.

We adjusted this year’s methodology, based on your feedback, to allow us to better understand the difference in performance between STAT and routine orders in the ED and inpatient settings. Below is a sneak peek of the ED data from this year’s survey thus far.

  Download a printable version of the survey

Twice as many ED exams are ordered STAT compared to inpatient orders

Every second counts in the emergency department, and so it is only natural ED turnaround times are one of the biggest areas of focus for imaging providers and ED physicians. Our preliminary data shows that virtually all ED exams are ordered as STAT, a significant difference when compared to inpatient scans.

Voice recognition likely driving continued gains in report generation

The data below is still preliminary, but it shows that the time it takes for radiologists to generate a final report has dropped significantly since we first conducted this survey in 2009. To ensure a more accurate comparison of the data, we averaged STAT and routine orders from this year’s survey.

There are certainly many things that could account for this improvement, but one strong contender is the adoption of voice recognition software. Although a majority of providers used voice recognition software in 2009, the number has significantly increased since then to the point where almost 90% of providers now report using some version of voice recognition to assist in generating the report. This technology has also prompted many members to adopt standardized protocols or create structured reports, two changes that should further improve turnaround times.

Your turn to participate in our survey

We want to provide you with the most credible data possible. Please take 15 minutes to complete our survey once you have gathered data for all of the sites and modalities you oversee. You can also download the hard copy of the survey to facilitate data collection.


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