Monday, May 09, 2005

Paper Requisitions and PACS/RIS Reports

A site we cover (side by side with another group) is one of the most advanced clinics of its type in the nation, but still uses paper requisitions. These are being printed in duplicate, stapled together by the techs, and brought to the interpreting radiologist by the technologist performing the examination. The radiologist then has to rip the packet apart, sort the sheets from multiple exams if applicable, and slot one copy for the clinic and the other for us. This system adds a great deal of inefficiency for the technologists and to our radiologists. I would think we can do better than this. The techs are great (I knew most of them before they came to the clinic), and I really enjoy working with them. I would prefer, though, that we not have the continuous stream of people in and out of my office simply to deliver the paperwork. I need to use BOTH of my brain cells when reviewing the CT's, and the distractions just don’t help. I admit with some embarrassment that I find the traffic in and out of my office very distracting, especially while trying to read some of the rather complex cases we see at this site. To add to the situation, one of the techs thinks it’s cute to pirouette into the office and wave the requisition around like a fan.
The dual-paper system was originated by our own group’s business manager (who is no longer with us) in the belief that it was the "safest" way to ensure that we could account for all exams we interpret. I have a little more faith in the technology than he did. I am certain the PACS or the RIS system can provide a print-out of daily or weekly activity. They are not integrated per se, but are provided by the same vendor. The site administrators have been told that the system cannot generate a report of daily activity with a guarantee of accuracy.
Am I the only one out there who would rather NOT have somebody coming into my office every three minutes? Maybe it’s my ADHD coming through. But, is it too much to ask for a PACS and/or a RIS system to be able to generate a report of daily scans read by each group? Do I even need to name names?

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