Ensuring Appropriateness of Pediatric Second Opinion Consultations

Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2020 Mar-Apr;49(2):82-84. doi: 10.1067/j.cpradiol.2019.05.009. Epub 2019 May 10.


Purpose: We sought to evaluate discrepancy rates between outside interpretations, radiology trainee preliminary reports, and subspecialist attending final interpretations for pediatric second opinion consultations on plain film and computed tomography imaging and to evaluate the impact of a process improvement for second opinion consultations.

Methods: Of a total of 572 requests for second opinion consultations during 1-year preintervention period, we utilized RADPEER to score concurrence of 158 requests which occurred overnight and included outside radiologist interpretations and resident preliminary reports. In consultation with clinician committees, we developed new guidelines for requesting second opinion consultations. We evaluated the impact on the number of consultations for the 1-year period following implementation of this process improvement.

Results: There was concurrence between the outside interpretation and pediatric subspecialist second opinion in 146 of 158 cases (92%). There was concurrence between the radiology resident and pediatric subspecialist second opinion in 145 of 158 cases (92%). During the 1-year period following our process improvement implementation, the total number of second opinion consultations decreased to 185 (from 572, a decrease of 68%) and the number of overnight requests for resident preliminary reports decreased to 11 (from 158, a decrease of 93%).

Conclusions: There was a high degree of concurrence between interpretations provided by outside radiologists, overnight radiology residents, and attending pediatric radiologists at our institution. Analyzing institutional-specific discrepancy rates is a valuable first step in partnering with clinicians to develop appropriate guidelines for second opinion consultations.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Observer Variation
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Radiologists
  • Radiology / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation*