Alerting of Radiology results

We at Portsmouth have been struggling for some time now with regards to the alerting of radiology reports for our referrers.
We have an in-house developed solution which hangs off our Trust TIE. This is has been in place for a number of years, but has limitations and is now not something we can build on.
We currently do not deliver the urgency of the report (which therefore does not comply with NPSA16), and we cannot filter auto reports.
We also struggle with acute referrals, where we cannot track the patient so as to alert the appropriate consultant as well as the referrer.
We are looking at CRIS communicator, but from what I have seen, it is an already “aged” solution that will give us some foundations but no bells or whistles, and will still leave us short in terms of where we want to be.
Can I ask where others are in terms of alerting? What systems are used and what are the limitations?
Is there anywhere that have cracked this?
Thanks in advance.

Mark Gardner
Head of Radiology IT - Portsmouth.

We use an in house solution as well.

I’m not aware of any single system that can meet the requirement. IMO it should ideally be a closed loop solution - linking back to the referral system(s) and patient record(s) - so it depends on which systems you have for those. Ours is our in-house ordercomms/EPR.

We have close to 100% acknowledgement through that with a combination of daily email notification of unacknowledged results, referrer and consultant acknowledgement worklists - and showing single click links of numbers of unacknowledged results on the patient records and ward/clinic lists within our EPR. We can track who have viewed, acknowledged and actioned each result, and show percentage acknowledgement and numbers by referrer, consultant and team.

Our policy is that anyone authorised to refer for an particular investigation can acknowledge the result - it doesn’t have to the the referrer. The acknowledgement signifies responsibility has been taken for actioning the result if required.

GP results acknowledgement is limited to assurance that correspondence including results have been transmitted into the GP system for action.

We still have the policy of phoning through any results that need to be acted on urgently - the same day - either to the referrering clinician/team to action or through us phoning a specific service MSCC, PE etc.

Hi Mark

As you’re aware, we’ve been using CRIS Communicator for some time now and it works quite well, within the limited parameters of how it is designed.

Assuming the RCR publish their new guidance ‘Recommendations on Alerts and Notification of Imaging Reports’ at some point (perhaps at the upcoming Annual Conference?), we will be expecting any solution to be able to (properly) support multiple categories of alerts.

As such, it may be worth waiting to see how existing solutions evolve across the market.


RCR has now published the document outlining the recommendations. You can google “RCR publications” or I can provide a link here.