Worklist reprioritization tool with AI reduces both report turnaround time and wait time for pulmonary examinations

According to an accepted manuscript published in ARRSAmerican Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), an AI-based worklist reprioritization tool reduced both report turnaround time and wait time for pulmonary embolus-positive CT pulmonary angiography examinations.

“By assisting radiologists in providing rapid diagnoses, the artificial intelligence (AI) tool could potentially enable earlier interventions for acute pulmonary embolus (PE),” noted lead researcher Kiran Batra, MD, from the department of radiology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Batra and her team’s manuscript included patients who underwent CT pulmonary angiography (CTPA) before (October 1, 2018–March 31, 2019) and after (October 1, 2019–March 31, 2020) implementing an FDA-approved AI tool that reprioritized CTPA examinations atop radiologists’ reading list, if acute PE was detected. Timestamps from EMR and dictation systems were then utilized to determine three times: wait (examination completion to report initiation), read (report initiation to availability), as well as report turnaround (sum of wait and read). The team stated that times for PE positive reports, using final imaging for reference, were compared between periods.

According to the authors, the AI-driven worklist reprioritization tool was associated with significantly shorter report turnaround (47.6 vs. 59.9 minutes) and wait (21.4 vs. 33.4 mins) times—though no significant difference in reading time (26.3 vs. 26.5 minutes)—for CTPA reports positive for acute PE, compared to reports from before AI implementation.

“During regular hours, the reduction in wait time was observed for examinations with routine, but not urgent or stat, priority,” the authors added.