‘What do you mean?’ Preliminary Image Evaluation in Rural North Queensland

Miss Rose Mcwilliam1

1Ingham Hospital- Queensland Health, Ingham, Australia


Objectives: To explore the implementation process of preliminary image evaluation within a rural North Queensland hospital and evaluate radiographer accuracy in terms of specificity and sensitivity.

Method: During a 6‐month trial period, radiographers provided a written preliminary image evaluation (PIE) for patients meeting a set inclusion criteria, made available to referring clinicians immediately after the completion of the examination. Image evaluation statements are made through QRIS as a ‘technologist comment’ and made available for viewing on the Enterprise IMPAX system. This written communication was then compared to the finalised radiology report and assessed in terms of sensitivity, specificity and overall accuracy.

Results: A 6‐month PIE trial (October, 2017-March 2018) yielded an average specificity of 95% and sensitivity of 94%. Qualitative data in the form of clinician surveys demonstrated positive feedback and overwhelming levels of support of the radiographer PIE service.

Discussion: The trial has shown promising results, supporting the desire for permanent adoption of this rural redesign strategy. Monthly audits continue to be performed with the goal of achieving accuracy targets of at least 80% sensitivity and 90% specificity. With the absence of on-site radiologists, this practice identifies and communicates clinically significant findings in a timely manner, which can expedite, redirect or alter the patient clinical pathway to promote good health outcomes and optimal patient care.


Undertaking in APHPOQs rural generalist training program, based in Ingham, North Queensland.
She works in a fantastic and very close knit hospital, whose staff she now considers family since moving to Ingham in February, 2017.
Participating in Queensland Healths rural and remote ultrasound training program, delivered through the Royal Brisbane and Womens Hospital and completing a graduate diploma in medical ultrasound. She completed her Masters of Image Interpretation in 2017.
Interest lies in radiographer imaging interpretation, trauma CT imaging and rural ultrasound.

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