How do you solve a problem like reporting?

RR crowdIt was a full house for the recent “How do you solve a problem like reporting” event in Manchester which was organised by InHealth Radiographer Reporting and supported by The British Institute of Radiology and the Society and College of Radiographers. Radiographers and imaging staff from all over the region and beyond listened to talks from five experts, all giving fascinating perspectives on the issue of diagnostic image interpretation by reporting radiographers.

Bev SnaithDr Bev Snaith, Professor of Clinical Radiography at Bradford University, kicked off the evening with an update on the work of the Radiographer Reporting Academy, a pilot project with the “Working Together” Vanguard. The aim of the project is to train the radiographer  workforce in the workplace setting by working collaboratively and not reinventing the wheel. She talked through the development of this innovative accelerated course, which has an emphasis on learning together with a systematic teaching process.

Dr Sue Kearney, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals is an expert who confesses that she has “changed her mind” about radiographer reporting. Her experience and research evidence shows that radiographers can and do report as accurately as trainee radiologists in most cases. However, because of the complexity of chest X-ray reporting and the vast range of actions required after reporting, she says that reporting must have a team approach with the more complex cases being referred to an experienced radiologist.

Dr Marlon Morrais gave a GP’s perspective and offered some really practical tips to reporting radiographers on how to communicate their findings well. Because the GP doesn’t see the image, it’s vital that the verbiage is clear and that there is a clear recommendation for action. Also, he emphasised the importance of ensuring that, if there has been a recommendation, that it has actually taken place. This avoids double booking, is less disruptive for the patient and can save the busy GP lots of time!

Nigel ThomasIn an entertaining overview of how radiographer reporting has been viewed through his career, Dr Nigel Thomas made his case in his presentation titled “Past, present and future” beginning with a historical perspective on radiographer reporting and ending with his optimism for the future. He reported that his infamous BIR blog “Breaking the Mould: How Radiographer Reporting is better for the patient” has had a record amount of views and caused consternation in some professions with the main areas of concern being governance, quality control, cost, the evidence and reporting outcomes. But he responded with a case to be made for all these challenges. He believes that education, audits, actionable reports and research are key to progress in the future.

Finally, Dr Amanda Martin, an MSK reporting radiographer from Bolton discussed how reporting radiographers keep up their standards in an ever changing environment where there is a constant pressure to specialise.

After questions from the floor, participants enjoyed drinks, snacks and networking with colleagues from the region. Look out for more free events organised by InHealth Radiographer Reporting in 2018.

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