Clinical Access and Utilization of Reports and Images in Neuroradiology

Matthew D. Alvin, Mona Shahriari, Evan Honig, Li Liu, David M. Yousem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The radiology report serves as the primary means of communication between radiologist and clinician. However, the value clinicians place on imaging and reports is variable, with many images of studies or their reports never being viewed. This has implications on the perceived value of the radiologist in the imaging chain. We hypothesized that neurologists, neurosurgeons, and otolaryngologists would view neuroradiology images most frequently and neuroradiology reports least frequently of all medical specialties. Materials and Methods: Ordering data were collected on all neuroradiology studies over a 1-month period. Imaging study date and time stamps were obtained for (1) when imaging study orders were placed, (2) when the patient underwent the imaging study, (3) when the imaging studies were viewed, and (4) when the radiology reports were accessed and by whom. Each data point included provider names, locations, departments, and level of training. Results: There were 7,438 imaging neuroradiology studies ordered. Overall, 85.7% (6,372) of reports and 53.2% (3,956) of imaging studies were viewed and 13.1% (977) of studies had neither images nor reports viewed. Inpatient neurosurgeons and neurologists viewed both imaging and reports significantly more than primary care specialties (P <.001). In the outpatient setting, this trend stayed true for neurosurgeons though was not true for neurologists (P <.001). Outpatient study imaging and reports were both viewed the least (48.6%), and inpatient study reports were viewed the most (95.2%; P <.001). Conclusion: Viewing of imaging and reports varies with neurosurgeons viewing neuroradiology studies more than all other medical specialties. Overall, the reports were viewed significantly more than the images, suggesting that the radiologist and his or her interpretation are more valuable than the study's images. The radiologists’ value, as measured by reports viewed, was maximal with obstetricians and gynecologists and psychiatry clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1723-1731
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Utilization
  • value
  • value-based care
  • viewing imaging
  • viewing reports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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