Effective notification of important non-urgent radiology results: A qualitative study of challenges and potential solutions

Andrew Georgiou*, Antonia Hordern, Marion Dimigen, Branimir Zogovic, Joanne Callen, Glen Schlaphoff, Johanna I. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction We report on the implementation of a Radiology Notification System (RNS), set up by the medical imaging department of a major Sydney teaching hospital in March 2010. This study aimed to investigate the views of the medical imaging department staff about: (i) the results follow-up problem encountered by the medical imaging department prior to the implementation of the RNS; (ii) what changes occurred following implementation of the RNS; and (iii) suggestions for improving the RNS. Methods This is a cross-sectional qualitative study incorporating semi-structured interviews with 16 staff (15 radiologists and 1 clerk) after the implementation of the RNS. Interviews were conducted in August/September 2011. Results The reasons behind the development of the RNS were related to: (i) major existing problems with the communication of results between the imaging department and hospital wards; (ii) cumbersome and inefficient paper-based notification systems; and (iii) the absence of standardised guidelines and procedures for radiology test notification and follow-up. The RNS managed to free up a significant proportion of radiologist time, resulting in greater efficiencies. Study participants also highlighted a number of areas for improvement, including the need for a 24-h service, feedback and acknowledgement of test results by clinicians and the standardisation of test management definitions and procedures. Conclusion Test management systems can play an important part in enhancing safe and effective communications between wards and hospital departments. However, their uptake and sustainability will require the establishment of a multidisciplinary and hospital-wide collaboration that includes clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


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