• Accident and emergency radiography: A comparison of radiographer commenting and 'red dotting'

      Hardy, Maryann L.; Culpan, Gary (2007-02)
      Purpose: The College of Radiographers has called for ‘Red Dot’ schemes to evolve and has recommended the development of radiographer commenting. The implementation of a radiographer comment scheme assumes that radiographers previously participating in ‘red dot’ schemes have been accurately recognising radiographic abnormalities and are, therefore, able to comment upon, and describe, such radiographic appearances. Research evidence to support such an assumption is sparse. This study compares the ability of radiographers attending a short course on musculoskeletal trauma to ‘red dot’ and comment on A&E radiographic appearances. Methods: This study adopted a pre-test, post-test approach. One hundred and twenty one radiographers attending a short course on musculoskeletal trauma (Bradford Red Dot Course) were invited to undertake an assessment of their ability to recognise (‘red dot’) and describe (comment upon) radiographic abnormalities at the start and end of the short course. Results: One hundred and fifteen radiographers (n = 115/121; 95.0%) completed both the pre- and post-training assessments. Post-training mean scores per case improved on average by 9.8% [p = 0.012; 95% CI: 2.4, 17.1] for ‘red dots’ and 12.7% [p = 0.007; 95% CI: 3.8, 21.5] for commenting. However, the difference between mean ‘red dot’ and commenting scores remained similar with mean radiographer comment scores being 13.7% less than mean ‘red dot’ scores pre-training and 10.8% less post-training. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the accuracy of radiographer comments was significantly reduced when compared to the accuracy of ‘red dots’ for the same radiographic images. The clinical significance of these findings for departments wanting to move from a ‘red dot’ system to a radiographer commenting scheme is that without appropriate training and audit, the quality of service and assistance to the A&E department could be significantly reduced.