Identifying Errors and Inconsistencies in Real Time While Using Facilitated Echocardiographic Reporting.

Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography : official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography

PubMedID: 25441328

Spencer KT, Arling B, Sevenster M, DeCara JM, Lang RM, Ward RP, O'Connor AM, Patel AR. Identifying Errors and Inconsistencies in Real Time While Using Facilitated Echocardiographic Reporting. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2014;.
BACKGROUND
Facilitated reporting using a discrete set of finding codes (FCs) is a common method of generating echocardiographic reports.

METHODS
The investigators developed a tool that allows echocardiographic reports to be evaluated in real time for errors, omissions, and inconsistencies on the basis of a defined group of "rules" applied to the FCs present in the report. At the time of report finalization, conflicts were displayed for the interpreting physicians, and their responses to each rule conflict were logged.

RESULTS
Over the course of 1 year, 7,986 transthoracic echocardiographic reports were analyzed prospectively during study interpretation. Overall, 30 ± 4.7 FCs were used to generate finalized reports. An average of 2.4 ± 2.0 conflicts were detected per finalized study. Eighty-three percent of studies had at least one conflict identified. There was no significant correlation between physician experience and conflict rates, but time of day (earlier) and rate at which studies were being finalized (faster) were both correlated with increased conflict rate. Overall, physicians ignored identified conflicts 52% of the time and altered their readings to eliminate the conflicts 48% of the time. Overall, at least one change was made in 54% of all finalized studies. There was a small but significant trend for physicians to produce more conflicts over time as the tool was used.

CONCLUSIONS
This study demonstrates that facilitated reporting of echocardiographic studies, using a discrete set of FCs, allows the generation of rules that can be used to identify discrepancies in echocardiographic reports before finalization. Conflicts are common in clinical practice, and the identification of these conflicts in real time allowed readers to review their interpretations and frequently resulted in alterations to echocardiographic reports.