Electronic Peer Learning Tool Shown to Outperform Traditional Peer Review

Leesburg, VA, December 11, 2018—Unenhanced Using an electronic peer learning tool (PLT) can significantly improve the quality of peer learning in a radiology department, compared with the use of a traditional score-based peer review system (SBPR), according to an article in the January 2019 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

The study examined use of a PLT at an academic hospital that performed more than 620,000 radiology examinations per year. Use of a PLT that generates alerts facilitating closed-loop feedback was initiated at the start of the six-month study.

Functions of the PLT included providing peers with the following: clinical follow-up after review of prior reports, positive feedback, and consultation to solicit second opinions. In the same period, an SBPR system yielded the following scores: 1, agree with original interpretation; 2, minor discrepancy; 3, moderate discrepancy; and 4, major discrepancy. Potential learning opportunities were defined as cases receiving a clinical follow-up alert (PLT system) and reports scored 3 or 4 (SBPR system).

The overall addendum rate, or the number of reports with addenda divided by the number of reports that were reviewed monthly, was 11.2 percent for the PLT system and 0.27 percent for the SBPR system, a 41-fold difference. The potential learning opportunity rate was 50 percent for PLT and 0.53 percent for SBPR, a 94-fold difference.

The authors concluded that ability of the PLT to facilitate confidential interdivisional and intradivisional collaboration helps build a culture of safety. Alerts that encompass both constructive and positive feedback provide a more conducive learning environment in general and help improve interpersonal relationships. Once trust is established, the task of breaking down the fear of failure or mistakes may be more easily undertaken. In addition, case material identified with the PLT can be used to create divisional and departmental teaching conferences as opportunities for group learning.

Founded in 1900, ARRS is the first and oldest radiology society in the United States, and is an international forum for progress in radiology. The Society's mission is to improve health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills in radiology. ARRS achieves its mission through an annual scientific and educational meeting, publication of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) and InPractice magazine, topical symposia and webinars, and print and online educational materials. ARRS is located in Leesburg, VA.