Radiology peer review is designed to track data without negatively impacting user productivity, learn how an organization is trending and discover where improvements are needed. In a Diagnostic Imaging interview, Nicole Wichlei, product manager of McKesson QICS™ ( Qualitative Intelligence and Communication System), notes that, “The objective of a peer review program should be to learn and improve.”
Radiology peer review should not impair physician’s or radiologist’s performance. The key to successful participation, said Wichlei, is “to make the doctors’ lives easier. They need a system that works in their primary system. If it will make it easy to do so, the adoption rate will be high, something that flows that isn’t disruptive to their current work flow.”
Removing Peer Review Bias
In its present state, radiology peer review is retrospective, looking back on completed cases. The future of radiology peer review will be proactive and prospective. “It’s not quite good enough to do the retrospective, on-the-fly assigned peer review,” said Wichlei. Physicians are now interested in catching errors before they get out the door, and doing blind reviews to avoid bias.
“When people come to talk to us about our solution, we’re getting questions about removing the bias,” she said, adding that the industry is getting savvier about how peer reviews are done.
Trend Toward Blind Peer Reviews
“There’ve been some studies of late, where the industry is trending to remove that bias from the peer review and to recommend that for more accurate quality measures, to perform blind peer review,” said Wichlei.
That can be difficult for single sites, but for multiple sites it should be easier to anonymize the location and consistency on how reviewers see the data.
According to Wichlei, other countries, like Canada, are closer to doing prospective peer review, where the results are checked before going to the ordering physician. “If there’s a discrepancy, the initial reading radiologist can see it, and possibly sending the case through a quality committee and revising the report before sending it out.” The bottom line is to use a system a facility can effectively implement.
“The goal obviously is to continue to improve over time,” Wichlei said, adding that, “If the doctors aren’t used to doing peer review, implementing an elaborate peer review process would be difficult. Instead they should start out with something simple.”
To learn how McKesson QICS can help with your radiology peer review and other quality workflow initiatives, register for our webinar on Tuesday, April 22 at 1:00 pm Eastern.