Institutional Implementation of a Structured Reporting System: Our Experience with the Brain Tumor Reporting and Data System

Acad Radiol. 2019 Jul;26(7):974-980. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2018.12.023. Epub 2019 Jan 18.


Rationale and objectives: Analyze the impact of implementing a structured reporting system for primary brain tumors, the Brain Tumor Reporting and Data System, on attitudes toward radiology reports at a single institution.

Materials and methods: Following Institutional Review Board approval, an initial 22 question, 5 point (1-worst to 5-best), survey was sent to faculty members, house staff members, and nonphysician providers at our institution who participate in the direct care of brain tumor patients. Results were used to develop a structured reporting strategy for brain tumors which was implemented across an entire neuroradiology section in a staged approach. Nine months following structured reporting implementation, a follow-up 27 question survey was sent to the same group of providers. Keyword search of radiology reports was used to assess usage of Brain Tumor Reporting and Data System over time.

Results: Fifty-three brain tumor care providers responded to the initial survey and 38 to the follow-up survey. After implementing BT-RADS, respondents reported improved attitudes across multiple areas including: report consistency (4.3 vs. 3.4; p < 0.001), report ambiguity (4.2 vs. 3.2, p < 0.001), radiologist/physician communication (4.5 vs. 3.8; p < 0.001), facilitation of patient management (4.2 vs. 3.6; p = 0.003), and confidence in reports (4.3 vs. 3.5; p < 0.001). Providers were more satisfied with the BT-RADS structured reporting system (4.3 vs. 3.7; p = 0.04). Use of the reporting template progressively increased with 81% of brain tumor reports dictated using the new template by 9 months.

Conclusion: Implementing a structured template for brain tumor imaging improves perception of radiology reports among radiologists and referring providers involved in the care of brain tumor patients.

Keywords: Brain tumor; Glioblastoma; Patient care; Response criteria; Structured template.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Data Accuracy
  • Hospitals, University*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Neuroradiography
  • Radiology Information Systems* / organization & administration
  • Radiology Information Systems* / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires