Emergency Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 593–600 | Cite as

Impact of an educational initiative targeting non-radiologist staff on overall notification times of critical findings in radiology

  • Juan Felipe Orejuela ZapataEmail author
Original Article



The timely reporting of critical findings is considered by the Joint Commission as one of the main patient safety goals. Delays in critical radiological findings communication are directly related to delayed treatment initiation and death, constituting a major cause of medical malpractice suits. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of an educational initiative performed to reduce the notification times of critical radiological findings.

Materials and methods

All records of critical findings reported in the Radiology Department were evaluated. The notification times before and after performing the educational intervention taking into account the patient type, study, and critical diagnosis were calculated, evaluated, and compared. T test and chi-square test were used for statistical analysis, considering a p value less than 0.05 to indicate statistically significant differences.


We included 1949 reports, 805 before (41.3%) and 1144 (58.7%) after the intervention. Before the intervention, the mean time of critical finding report was 2.85 h for emergency patients and 3.07 h for hospitalized patients. After the intervention, a statistically significant decrease in the notification time was observed with a mean of 1.37 h for emergency patients and 2.43 h in the hospitalization patients. A statistically significant increase was observed in the proportion of reported findings in less than 15 min (7.08%, p < 0.01), 45 min (45.55%, p < 0.01), 60 min (55.86%, p < 0.01), and 120 min (80.68%, p < 0.01).


The healthcare process in the Department of Radiology involves multiple actors who must be sensitized in the identification and reporting of critical radiological findings in order to reduce the notification times. Ensuring effective communication of critical findings is indispensable to ensure timely medical treatment.


Communication Critical finding Radiology Quality initiative 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Society of Emergency Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiology DepartmentFundación Valle del LiliCaliColombia
  2. 2.Radiology DepartmentFundación Valle del LiliCaliColombia

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