Information Content and Clarity of Radiologists' Reports for Chest Radiography

Published in: Academic Radiology, v. 3, no. 9, Sep. 1996, p. 709-717

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1995

by Jeffrey L. Sobel, Marjorie L. Pearson, Keith Gross, Katherine Desmond, Ellen Harrison, Lisa V. Rubenstein, William H. Rogers, Katherine L. Kahn

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Examines the information content and clarity of radiologists' reports for chest radiography. It is based on a nationally representative sample of 822 elderly patients hospitalized in 297 acute-care hospitals in 5 states who had an admission diagnosis of congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, or pneumonia. The analysis finds wide variation in the content of chest radiography reports, extensive variation in terms used to identify the presence or absence of abnormal findings, and a large degree of uncertainty in data patterns. The authors conclude that the time is right to improve the quality of chest radiography reporting.

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