Radiographer reporting in emergency departments: a literature review

Hailey Radovanovic, Nicole Armfield

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    Radiographer abnormality detection systems are used worldwide, with some countries implementing and embracing full systems and training for their radiographers in both the public and private sectors. Perhaps the most well known form of radiographer reporting is the 'Red Dot System' (RDS), which was created in London in 1981 and is now used in over 150 hospitals throughout the UK. The RDS was devised following the discharge of a patient with a fractured neck of femur by a casualty officer, which the radiographer had actually identified. The RDS requires radiographers to flag cases where an abnormality is noted, possibly preventing other professionals missing these abnormalities. Compared with many hospitals overseas, Australia has been slow to trial RADS and has yet to put into operation any specific system.Radiographer reporting is an ongoing issue in radiology departments worldwide, and is accompanied by some complex and controversial themes. In this article, ten studies examining the accuracy of radiographer reporting are compared and considered. The ability of a radiographer to discriminate abnormal radiographs and, in addition, to identify such abnormalities, is investigated. Any biases detected in the studies are noted. Discussion leads to the conclusion that with training, radiographers are able to provide reports similar in accuracy to radiologists. Radiographer reporting is a theme that has been noted in departments throughout the last century; however the issue has become more prevalent since the early 1980s. The term 'radiographer reporting' is used in many instances, but generally refers to a situation where a radiographer is required to give a professional opinion on a radiograph. This may include a radiographer being required to identify examinations where any abnormality is noted on a radiograph, such as radiographer abnormality detection systems (RADS) and specially trained radiographers writing a full report on the examination, as a radiologist would. There are considerable advantages to such a system, and to a lesser degree, disadvantages. Various studies have been conducted to investigate the efficacy of radiographer reporting systems, looking specifically at the radiographers' abilities to determine and identify any abnormality demonstrated. In addition, studies have been performed to distinguish whether special training can improve results in either of these categories.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-35
    Number of pages4
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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    Radovanovic, H., & Armfield, N. (2005). Radiographer reporting in emergency departments: a literature review. Radiographer, 52(3), 32-35.