Audit of Radiological requests at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu
Aim: To determine, the adequacy of the radiological request form currently in use at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, the efficiency of its completion by referring clinicians and the utilization of radiological services by clinical units. Materials and Method: The contents and structure of the radiological request form in use at UNTH were compared with those from reputable international radiology centres and also with recommendations of an expert report on the design of radiological request form. 8500 request forms were reviewed retrospectively to determine the compliance of referring clinicians in properly completing the request forms. The total number of referrals for radiological investigations from each clinical unit in the hospital for the year 2004 was analyzed. Results: Important items like section for safety information for examinations involving contrast agent administration and purpose of the radiological request were omissions noted in the request form currently in use at UNTH. Among other non-compliances, column for patients age and sex though provided for, had no information supplied by referring clinicians in 42% (N=3570) of the cases: part of the body to be examined was not stated in 40% of the cases (n=3400) and the dates the requests were made were not indicated in 30% (N=2550). The general out-patient department (GOPD) and the internal medicine department utilize radiological services most and jointly constituted 52%) (N=4420) of the total requests made. Conclusion: Evaluation of the radiological request from currently in use at the UNTH has revealed the existence of important omissions and poor compliance with filling of important requested data by referring clinicians. A restructure of the request from using the outcome from this study is recommended in addition to periodical audit of non-conformities in its completion by referring clinicians. A well designed radiological request form (RRF) will provide more information, increase compliance of clinicians, and enable better assessment of pretest probability necessary for the provision of good and reliable radiological services.
Keywords: Radiological request, audit quality.
NQJHM Vol. 15 (2) 2005: pp. 67-71