Interview with Prof. Dr. Wieland Sommer

Prof. Dr. med. Wieland Sommer summarizes the importance of structured reporting for radiological care in an interview with the online magazine Healthcare-in-Europe: “Objective, quantitative, and reproducible standards for tumor diagnosis and control of tumor progression.” Further, Prof. Sommer comments that structured reporting helps formulating clear definitions used to evaluate efficacies of systemic tumor therapies, which may serve as guidelines for the assessment of therapeutic success.

Already 20 years ago, oncologists had started to use fixed, standardized report criteria to follow up on tumor progression. “We are experiencing a paradigm shift from free-text dictations to structured reports. The latter is especially helpful for young, inexperienced physicians who receive guidance for specific indications.”

Structured reporting provides physicians with tools enabling them to write high-quality, clear and uniformly structured reports. Smart Reporting has implemented a software tool for structured reporting on their online platform www.smart-radiology.com. Prof. Sommer is convinced that this new technology is going to “improve the quality of medical reporting through standardization and by making it comparable”. In another article published by Healthcare-in-Europe Prof. Dr. Stefan Schönberg (Director of the Institute for Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at the University of Mannheim) describes his view on the future of radiology: “The field will progress very slowly without the help of IT. Great revolutions will be controlled by bits and bytes.” The development of structured reporting is part of the forward movements field, and is characterized by three parameters: “The division of reports into measurable subunits, utilization of standardized terminology, and sensible, parametric deposition of information in appropriate databases.” He emphasizes the importance of spreading the word. “Impulses come from university hospitals, but only a wide distribution will bring about benefits.”

The full-length interviews with Prof. Dr. med. Wieland Sommer and Prof. Dr. Stefan Schönberg have been published in the German edition of Healthcare-in-Europe.

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