Mandated radiologist-performed electronic order entry: effect on CT oral contrast administration.

Journal Article


The purpose of this study was to determine whether radiologist-performed electronic order entry affects use of oral contrast material for CT. Contrast media have been classified as medications by The Joint Commission, which necessitates a physician order for their administration.

Materials and methods

In a retrospective study, rates of use of oral and IV contrast material for inpatient abdominopelvic CT examinations performed 6 months before and 6 months after the date of implementation of computerized physician order entry were calculated. Radiologist perception of order entry time was assessed by survey; order entry time was measured for 10 blinded radiologists. Descriptive, chi-square, and Student t test statistics were used.


A protocol that normally includes oral or IV contrast administration was used for 1693 CT examinations (784 before and 909 after May 25, 2010). No significant change (p > 0.05) was found in ratios of indications for CT, rates of use of IV contrast material, or rates of use of oral contrast material after computerized physician order entry was implemented. The mean perceived order entry time was 3 minutes 3 seconds (weighted average); the actual time was 1 minute 47 seconds (range, 1:19-2:25 minutes). The extrapolated cumulative order entry time was 26 hours 38 minutes of physician time in the 6-month period after computerized physician order entry was started. Most of the survey respondents (98%, 41/42) did not think radiologist order entry improved patient safety, and 43% (18/42) believed it to be very or extremely disruptive.


Mandatory radiologist-performed electronic order entry does not negatively affect the rate of use of oral contrast for inpatient abdominopelvic CT, but it is potentially time-consuming and disliked by participating radiologists.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davenport, MS; Gardner, CS; Jaffe, TA

Published Date

  • March 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 198 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 616 - 620

PubMed ID

  • 22358001

Pubmed Central ID

  • 22358001

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1546-3141

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0361-803X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2214/ajr.11.7048


  • eng