Analysis and Improvement of the Imaging Report Communication Process
The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) Radiology Department fits in with the DHMC mission "to deliver health care with excellence where and when patients need us." In its operations, it is subject to audits from the Joint Commission relative to its communications of results from patient scans. These notifications are audited by way of the documentation of the communications to doctors and patients. Past data were analyzed in the project and indications for improved clarity in defining the terms used in communication and for improvement in the timeliness of communications were found. Working with Radiologists and Imaging staff, the MEM student designed and tested a new process with standardized definitions, better efficiency in operation, and requiring fewer personnel. Initial trials in Radiology suggest improved ease of use, clarified language on findings, and better cycle time performance for the communication process.