An Audit of X-ray Request Form Completion at Two Namibian State Hospitals: How Compliant are the Referring Doctors?
Keywords:accurate, clinical audit, complete, justified, X-ray request forms
Background. An x-ray request form (XRF) is a legal document that aims to communicate a physician’s (medical practitioner’s) request for radiological procedures to radiographers. Due to the need to conform to radiation protection regulations, the requestor has a responsibility to justify their requests and comply with the legal framework. This study aimed to assess the completeness of cervical spine and pelvis x-ray request forms (XRFs).
Materials and method. A review of all plain film x-ray request forms for pelvis and cervical spine during the calendar month of September 2021 was performed to assess for completeness (adequacy) at two radiology departments in Windhoek by means of a retrospective cross-sectional design. A 15-item checklist was used to collect data, employing purposive sampling. The Statistical Software Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 27 was used to analyse and present data using descriptive statistics.
Results. A total of 172 (110 pelvis and 62 cervical spines) XRFs were assessed. The majority were not adequately completed. Only 4.8% of C-spine and 1.8% of pelvis XRFs were adequately completed.
Conclusion. The omissions of certain components on the XRFs are suggestive of ineffective communication between referring medical practitioners, radiologists, and radiographers, affecting the justification of procedures warranting a need for improvement in current referral practices. We recommend in-service training to sensitise medical practitioners and radiographers on the need for adequate completion of XRFs.
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