UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Virtopsy approach: Structured reporting versus free reporting for PMCT findings


Schweitzer, Wolf; Bartsch, Christine; Ruder, Thomas D; Thali, Michael J (2014). Virtopsy approach: Structured reporting versus free reporting for PMCT findings. Journal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging, 2(1):28-33.

Abstract

Introduction: While post mortem CT (PMCT) serves as increasingly wide-spread tool for pre-autopsy examination in forensic medicine, the scope and role of reporting should follow legal requirements as set out by law and landmark court decisions. We initially used free form reporting, but after a hyoid fracture was missed and not reported in a case of manual strangulation, and after a range of other less serious incidents, we switched to a structured reporting system. Methods and material: Twenty randomly chosen PMCT reports of each of the two types (free form, structured reporting containing 108 items) were checked for explicit reporting of absent or present findings of an arbitrary list of findings of forensic relevance. Results: Free form reports contained 13% to 75% of forensically relevant findings, depending on the specific finding that was checked. Structured reports did contain 100% of the items that were tested even though the system that we used would yield a “not checked” entry if left untouched by the user. Discussion: Unchecked or unreported data has the capacity to act as a liability rather than an asset given that no jurisdiction specifically requires court appointed experts to partially ignore data for possible later analysis and interpretation. Wasting time on irrelevant findings while missing crucial data is a real risk particularly when radiologists enter the field of forensic medicine. Structured reports then can remedy the problem through acting as a guideline. Even though this study has limitations as only two very different techniques were compared, considering structured reporting in a comprehensive fashion is strongly recommended both on study results and legal considerations.

Abstract

Introduction: While post mortem CT (PMCT) serves as increasingly wide-spread tool for pre-autopsy examination in forensic medicine, the scope and role of reporting should follow legal requirements as set out by law and landmark court decisions. We initially used free form reporting, but after a hyoid fracture was missed and not reported in a case of manual strangulation, and after a range of other less serious incidents, we switched to a structured reporting system. Methods and material: Twenty randomly chosen PMCT reports of each of the two types (free form, structured reporting containing 108 items) were checked for explicit reporting of absent or present findings of an arbitrary list of findings of forensic relevance. Results: Free form reports contained 13% to 75% of forensically relevant findings, depending on the specific finding that was checked. Structured reports did contain 100% of the items that were tested even though the system that we used would yield a “not checked” entry if left untouched by the user. Discussion: Unchecked or unreported data has the capacity to act as a liability rather than an asset given that no jurisdiction specifically requires court appointed experts to partially ignore data for possible later analysis and interpretation. Wasting time on irrelevant findings while missing crucial data is a real risk particularly when radiologists enter the field of forensic medicine. Structured reports then can remedy the problem through acting as a guideline. Even though this study has limitations as only two very different techniques were compared, considering structured reporting in a comprehensive fashion is strongly recommended both on study results and legal considerations.

Citations

Altmetrics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:21 Mar 2014 14:11
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:42
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2212-4780
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jofri.2013.12.002

Download

Full text not available from this repository.
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations