Correlation among on-call resident study volume, discrepancy rate, and turnaround time

Acad Radiol. 2010 Sep;17(9):1190-4. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2010.06.003.


Rationale and objectives: With continued increase in imaging utilization and remote access image viewing technology, many academic radiology departments are presented with the suggestion to supplement on-call resident preliminary reports with an outsourced attending interpretation. This idea is often brought to administrative attention because of the subjective impression that outsourced studies will benefit from significantly faster interpretation times and lower discrepancy rates, especially when study volume is high. We attempt to retrospectively analyze on-call resident studies at a busy Trauma I university hospital and establish whether a statistical correlation exists among study volume, discrepancy rate, and turnaround time.

Materials and methods: On-call computed tomography and ultrasound studies between January 2008 and June 2008 were retrospectively reviewed by blinded staff radiologists for discrepancies between preliminary and final reports. A correlation analysis between discrepancy rate and study volume per shift was performed. In addition, correlation analysis between volume per shift and interpretation time was also performed.

Results: A total of 1133 studies were reviewed. The major discrepancy rate is 1.85% with average turnaround time of 28.5 minutes. The correlation coefficient between major discrepancy rate and study volume is 0.35. The correlation coefficient between interpretation time and study volume is 0.29.

Conclusion: Our large retrospective review of preliminary reports from different residents reveals no significant correlation among discrepancy rate, turnaround time, and study volume. The overall discrepancy rate is similar to that reported by other studies. Other institutions can perform this study to analyze whether their volume and resident performance warrants supplemental assistance before depriving residents of the educational benefits the independent on-call experience affords.

MeSH terms

  • After-Hours Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diagnostic Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Radiology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Workflow
  • Workload / statistics & numerical data*