Digital Health

Radiology Referral Set

The results of the 2021 Landscape Analysis showed SNOMED-CT is the preferred RRS candidate, assessed by the developed criteria. 
The recommendation to adopt SNOMED-CT as the terminology for RRS is pragmatic but also ambitious. There is no perfect candidate that already meets every requirement, and thus any recommendation also creates an expectation that future work will be necessary to deliver on the promise that a standardised RRS offers.
The work needed to implement and adopt the RRS is closely tied to the broader eReferrals work programme on a national level, and can hence share some of the delivery workload with that programme. However, radiology requests done through eReferrals are widely acknowledged as an area for strong benefits, and the synergy between the two programmes will assist both.

RRS resources:

RANZCR ADIA Radiology Referral Set Landscape Analysis

Radiology Referral Set Stakeholder Workshop slides

Radiology Referral Set Position Statement

Radiology Referral Set Landscape Analysis Supplementary Material

Standardised Terminology for Radiology eReferrals

Structured Reporting 

The written radiology report is evolving in response to clinical advances, technological changes and social/regulatory developments like greater patient access. “Structured” or “Standardised” reporting is one way that radiologists are trying to address these challenges. This can use either existing reporting systems or specialised tools:

Standardised or templated reports (“TR”) - At their most basic level these define how content is arranged in the written radiology report text, for instance in an anatomically itemised list, but they may also include standardised terminology and/or content tailored to the clinical context. These are generally held as text options in the existing reporting system and the reporting radiologist can usually edit the content for individual cases.

Dedicated structured reporting software (“SRS”) –  Imaging findings are placed in predefined tagged data fields. Required values are usually entered by the radiologist or technologist (for instance choices in a pick-list), but may sometimes include measurements or other parameters transmitted directly from imaging equipment. The report is then generated using the information provided, tailored to the clinical context, but may allow the radiologist to add or alter content. Some software may incorporate images or other hyperlinks.

As the leading body for clinical radiology quality and education in Australia and New Zealand, RANZCR is interested in how these reporting approaches are currently being used by individual radiologists and also in the departments and practices where they work.