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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-60

Evaluation of inadequately filled radiology request forms with its impact on patient radiation exposure and waiting time in a tertiary care hospital: A preliminary report from Northwest Nigeria

1 Department of Medical Radiography, College of Health Sciences, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Clinical sciences, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yusuf Lawal
Department of Radiology, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Bayero University, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wajr.wajr_5_21

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Background: Adequate and accurate clinical history on a properly filled request form is indispensable if a clinically relevant radiological diagnosis is to be made. Moreover, clinicians need to clearly justify their requests for radiological procedures on a request form to prevent unnecessary radiation exposures and examinations with attendant prolonged waiting time. Objective: The study audited inadequately filled radiology request forms to determine their impacts on diagnosis, patient radiation exposure, and waiting time. Materials and Methods: Following an institutional review board approval, a total of 158 inadequately filled request forms for conventional X-ray examinations were sequentially enlisted and evaluated. Scorings as filled, inadequately filled, and unfilled were used to score each item based on the following: patient biodata/demographic information and patient referral details and referring physician details. Request forms for repeat examinations were further analyzed for remote factors tied to inadequate filling or lack of filling of the details on the repeat forms. Data were analyzed based on descriptive statistics using SPSS statistical software. Results: Patient names including first and surname were adequately filled on all the request cards (100%). Information related to patient referral details such as previous X-ray examination, blood pressure, and last menstrual period were inadequately filled with 4.4%, 2.5%, and 19.7% completion, respectively. Of the 158 request forms assessed, 33 (20.9%) examinations were repeated due to partial or complete cutoff of anatomic region of interest analysis showing inadequate clinical history and requested examination accounting for 45.5% and 24.2% of the remote factors tied to the repeats. Conclusion: The practice of adequate, correct, and consistent filling of radiology request forms was suboptimal with resultant prolonged waiting time and possibly increased exposure among repeat cases. A continued reminder of all referring clinicians needs to be improved to protect patients from prolonged waiting times and unnecessary radiation exposure, for the overall improvement of quality of services. Implications for Practice: Adequate information on the request forms improves diagnostic acuracy, reduced waiting time, and increased overall quality of service delivery.

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