The accuracy of after-hour registrar Computed Tomography (CT) reporting in a tertiary South African teaching hospital

De Witt, Juruan F. ; Griffith-Richards, Stephanie ; Pitcher, Richard D. (2014-05-16)

De Witt, J.F., Griffith-Richards, S. & Pitcher, R.D. The accuracy of after-hour registrar computed tomography (CT) reporting in a South African tertiary teaching hospital. S Afr J Rad, 18(1); Art. #591, doi:10.4102/sajr.v18i1.591.

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Background: The Division of Radiodiagnosis at Tygerberg Academic Hospital, a 1384-bed tertiary training institution in Cape Town, South Africa provides a comprehensive 24-hour clinical radiology service, and has a duty registrar on-site at all times. The demand for computed tomography (CT) imaging is increasing and plays a pivotal role in patient management. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy of after-hour registrar CT reporting, to identify possible factors that may affect the error rate, and to assess whether or not errors had any clinical impact. Method: A set of senior registrar reports (provisional reports) issued during a 28-day period was compared with the corresponding consultant reports (final reports). Discrepancies were identified and quantified, based on their impact on patient management. Results: The overall discrepancy rate was 8% (18 out of 225) and the overall accuracy rate was 92% (207 out of 225). The major error rate was 4% (9 out of 225) and the minor error rate was also 4% (9 out of 225). Conclusion: We observed that the accuracy of after-hour CT reporting by senior registrars at the Division of Radiodiagnosis at Tygerberg Hospital was on par with international standards. We investigated three factors which may have affected discrepancy rates, and only found one factor, namely the time of day, to be significant. Steps can be taken to create awareness of this fact amongst registrars, which hopefully would result in improved patient care and management.

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