Objective: Expedited finalized radiologist report turnaround times (RTAT) are considered an important quality care metric in medicine. This study was performed to evaluate the impact of a radiologist pay-for-performance (PFP) program on reducing RTAT.
Materials and methods: A radiologist PFP program was used to assess its impact on RTAT for all departmental reports from 11 subspecialty divisions. Study periods were 3 months before (baseline period) and immediately after (immediate period) the introduction of the program and 2 years later after the program had terminated (post period). Three RTAT components were evaluated for individual radiologists and for each radiology division: examination completion (C) to final signature (F), C to preliminary signature (P), and P to F.
Results: Eighty-one radiologists met the inclusion criterion for the study and performed a final signature on 99,959 reports during the baseline period, 104,673 reports during the immediate period, and 91,379 reports during the post period. Mean C-F, C-P, and P-F for all reports decreased significantly from baseline to immediate to post period (p < 0.0001), with the largest effect on the P-F component. Similarly, divisional C-F, C-P, and P-F also significantly decreased (p < 0.0001) for all divisions except the C-F for nuclear and neurovascular radiology from baseline to immediate period and the C-P component from baseline to post period for cardiac radiology.
Conclusion: A radiologist PFP program appears to have a marked effect on expediting final report turnaround times, which continues after its termination.