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Ernst, Benjamin P.; Strieth, Sebastian; Katzer, Fabian; Hodeib, Mohamed; Eckrich, Jonas; Bahr, Katharina; Rader, Tobias; Kuenzel, Julian; Frölich, Matthias F.; Matthias, Christoph; Sommer, Wieland H.; Becker, Sven (2019): The use of structured reporting of head and neck ultrasound ensures time-efficiency and report quality during residency. In: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Vol. 277, No. 1: pp. 269-276
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Purpose Free text reports (FTR) of head and neck ultrasound studies are currently deployed in most departments. Because of a lack of composition and language, these reports vary greatly in terms of quality and reliability. This may impair the learning process during residency. The purpose of the study was to analyze the longitudinal effects of using structured reports (SR) of head and neck ultrasound studies during residency. Methods Attending residents (n = 24) of a tripartite course on head and neck ultrasound, accredited by the German Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (DEGUM), were randomly allocated to pictures of common diseases. Both SRs and FTRs were compiled. All reports were analyzed concerning completeness, acquired time and legibility. Overall user contentment was evaluated by a questionnaire. Results SRs achieved significantly higher ratings regarding completeness (95.6% vs. 26.4%, p < 0.001), description of pathologies (72.2% vs. 58.9%, p < 0.001) and legibility (100% vs. 52.4%, p < 0.001) with a very high inter-rater reliability (Fleiss' kappa 0.9). Reports were finalized significantly faster (99.1 s vs. 115.0 s, p < 0.001) and user contentment was significantly better when using SRs (8.3 vs. 6.3, p < 0.001). In particular, only SRs showed a longitudinally increasing time efficiency (- 20.1 s, p = 0.036) while maintaining consistent completeness ratings. Conclusions The use of SRs of head and neck ultrasound studies results in an increased longitudinal time-efficiency while upholding the report quality at the same time. This may indicate an additive learning effect of structured reporting. Superior outcomes in terms of comprehensiveness, legibility and time-efficiency can be observed immediately after implementation.