In our previous podcast we introduced Nines Radiology’s collaboration model designed to reduce radiologist burnout. Today we zoom in on an essential aspect of the radiologist’s work: actionable reports. Joining us is Dr. Curt Langlotz, MD, PhD, Nines Advisor, RSNA Board Member, and author of The Radiology Report. In a conversation with Nines Advisor on Clinical Operations and Director of Quality at Emory University School of Medicine, Dr. Melissa Davis, MD, MBA, Dr. Langlotz details the evolution of reporting over time and offers insight into the future of radiology reporting.
Sharing his research on New York hospitals in the 1920s, Dr. Langlotz notes that historically, radiology reports did not differ substantially from the reports of today. The advent of dictation technology amplified radiologists’ efficiency but didn't eliminate the need for report organization. Today, he sees an avenue for innovation in integration, such as through a unified system for displaying images and creating a report. Dr. Langlotz maintains that the human element of radiology in report writing is paramount.
“The issues are more about people than about technology.”
Dr. Langlotz outlines the 3 C’s that define a good report: Clarity, Concision, and Consistency (especially in medical terminology). Dr. Davis adds a fourth attribute: that the best reports directly Answer the specific clinical question. She thinks about this as many patients are now gaining access to their radiology reports through EHRs, to which Dr. Langlotz mentions:
“Patients will have a higher standard for their reports than even referring clinicians do.”
He discusses that radiology efforts should ultimately focus on producing a single report accessible to clinicians and patients alike, a substantial task that NLP may facilitate. As it's sometimes claimed that AI will replace radiologists, Dr. Langlotz sees the immediate role of AI as taking on radiologists’ more repetitive tasks, such as measuring lesions. As AI becomes more sophisticated and moves toward detection tasks, it will improve radiologists’ productivity.
Tune in to hear these insights and more on how radiology reports will interact with the larger healthcare ecosystem in the future.