Effect of Implementing Community of Practice Modified Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System on Reporting Adherence and Number of Thyroid Biopsies
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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Thyroid nodules are common in the population, although the rate of malignancy is relatively low (5%-15%). The purpose of this study was to determine if introducing a modified standardized reporting format and management algorithm (Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System [TI-RADS]) affects radiologist reporting adherence, number of thyroid biopsies, and other measurable outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All thyroid biopsies performed over two 6-month periods were evaluated at a tertiary care hospital with Research Ethics Board approval. The first period was before implementation of TI-RADS and the second was several months after implementation of TI-RADS (using a modified version made through a multidisciplinary collaboration). The number of biopsies performed was determined in each of the two periods as well as the percent of positive malignancy, wait times, and rates of non-diagnostic/unsatisfactory and inconclusive biopsies, which included atypia of undetermined significance (AUS) and follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS). RESULTS: The average number of biopsies performed prior to implementing modified Kwak's TI-RADS was 74 thyroid biopsies per month and the average number of diagnostic ultrasounds was 271. After the introduction of modified Kwak's TI-RADS, the average number of thyroid biopsies decreased to 60 per month (an 18.9% reduction, P < .05), and the number of diagnostic ultrasound increased to 287 per month (a 5.9% increase from 2016 to 2017). The average wait time for a thyroid biopsy decreased from 5 to 3 weeks (P < .05). There was a slight increase in the rate of positive malignancy results (from 15% to 18%), although it was not statistically significant. The rate of non-diagnostic/unsatisfactory and inconclusive results (including AUS and FLUS) remained unchanged (18% AUS/FLUS/15% non-diagnostic/unsatisfactory before and 17% AUS/FLUS/15% non-diagnostic/unsatisfactory after TI-RADS introduction, P > .05). CONCLUSIONS: Introduction of a multidisciplinary-approved standardized reporting system with evidence-based management recommendations led to no statistically significant change in the number of diagnostic ultrasounds but a statistically significant reduction in the number of monthly thyroid biopsies and associated reduction in wait times.
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