Conventional radiology reports are stored as free text, so information is trapped in the language of the report, making it difficult to find specific details without reading the whole text. In structured reporting (SR), the information is standardised and presented in a clear, organised format, tracking the attributes of each finding (size, location, etc.) and prompting the radiologist to complete all required fields. It has been suggested that SR is more time-efficient than dictation, facilitates automated billing and order entry, and supports analysis for research and decision-support . SR has also been suggested to improve communication of radiology results [4, 8] and allows retrieval of data by automated or semi-automated methods for the purposes of comparison, audit and research.
SR is usually displayed in modular format with section headings, contains a consistent ordering of observations in the form of templates or checklists, and uses standardised language and lexicon [4, 9–11]. There is also the potential to integrate additional information, such as clinical data, technical parameters, measurements, annotations, and key (relevant) images and multimedia data , giving the potential to reduce ambiguity and increase confidence in the findings [12, 13]. There is also the future potential for multilingual translation.
Technical frameworks for SR are potentially complex and the ESR will undertake to provide further guidance in future documents.