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Journal of Radiological Review 2020 July-August;7(4):264-74

DOI: 10.23736/S2723-9284.20.00026-4

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Structured reporting in radiology: an overview

Duccio BUCCICARDI 1 , Annalori PANUNZIO 2, Lorenzo FAGGIONI 3, Francesca COPPOLA 4

1 Unit of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hospital of Levante - ASL2 Savonese, Savona, Italy; 2 Unit of Radiology, Hospital of Ostuni, ASL Brindisi, Ostuni, Brindisi, Italy; 3 Unit of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Department of Translational Research, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; 4 Malpighi Unit of Radiology, Department of Diagnostic and Preventive Medicine, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Polyclinic, Bologna, Italy


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A report is the formal documentation and communication of the results of a radiologic exam and plays a pivotal role in patient management. Reports may vary greatly in grammar, format, style, accuracy and the most challenging point is to effectively communicate results. Traditionally, radiology reports have been created using free-text, narrative language. However, evidence exists that the use of non-structured reports using narrative language may serve as an obstacle to optimal patient care. Referring physicians and radiologists have shown increasing interest in a more standardized radiological report, i.e. a structured report, as a potential solution for improving the quality of radiology reports. Structured reporting relies on standardized templates, which form the semantic framework of a digital document made up of an ordered series of fields, each containing predefined kinds of information (e.g. numeric, alphabetical, Boolean or metadata such as key images, movies or Web links). In this article we review the evidence supporting the use of structured reporting, discuss its pros and cons, suggest how it could be implemented in daily practice, show the relationship with artificial intelligence and discuss the future of structured reporting in the modern era of precision medicine.


KEY WORDS: Reference standards; Workflow; Communication; Artificial intelligence

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