Registered radiology technologists working in pediatric urgent care centers produced better-quality images than attending physicians in a newly published study at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. The report was published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The aim of the study was to assess radiograph quality at urgent care centers staffed with and without technologists, as well as the utilization of radiography in a pediatric urgent care setting. The researchers looked at 235 radiographic exams performed without a radiology technologist (study group) and 83 with a technologist (control group) at six pediatric urgent care centers, producing the following key results:
- Field of view: 3.9% for the study group, 4.2% for the control group
- Orthogonal view: 4.4% for the study group, 4.6% for the control group
- Incidence of repeat imaging: 7% for the study group, 2.4% for the control group
The authors acknowledged that the findings are not necessarily actionable, given that the cost of employing radiology technologists is likely too high for many urgent care operations. They reasoned that the results point to the need for more training among physicians tasked with obtaining images in children.